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Lassa fever: Benue records 9 deaths, 47 confirmed cases

At least nine deaths have been recorded from 46 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in seven local government areas of Benue State. State Commissioner of…

At least nine deaths have been recorded from 46 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in seven local government areas of Benue State.

State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr Yanmar Ortese, said that five health workers and four Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were among the numbers of confirmed Lassa fever cases in the state.

Ortese, worried by the development, said he was presently in Abuja to discuss the matter with the Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 

“Right now, I’m in Abuja with the DG of NCDC and I have presented the case of Lassa fever before him so we are discussing it. I have taken it to the national level,” he said.

State Epidemiologist, Dr Sam Ngishe, however, told our correspondent on telephone that the first case of the current Lassa fever outbreak in the state was noticed in week 50 of last year. 

“Altogether, as at this moment, we are speaking from result gotten so far, Benue has 46 cases of Lassa fever spread across seven local government areas of the state to include, Obi, Okpokwu, Gwer West, Makurdi, Guma, Gwer East and Ukum. It’s actually an increase compared to what we had last year. 

“So far, we have nine deaths in confirmed cases as we speak. We have been able to bury all in accordance with safe burial protocols across the various areas of the state where they hailed from,” Ngishe explained.

He said that they have sustained response through the intervention of the Federal Government, World Bank and NCDC, adding that the bodies had spoken loudly to enhance Benue’s surveillance efforts, risk communication in the community as well as spoken to the laboratory component of the response and co-ordinations. 

 

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