A Lassa Fever committee meeting was held in Benin City, the Edo state capital on Friday and the meeting was chaired by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, also present at the meeting were Dr. Patrick Okundia, the current Commissioner for Health in the State and a representative of the World Health Organization.
During the meeting, the health commissioner disclosed that out of the 175 suspected cases of Lassa fever, 76 of them tested positive to the virus. According to him,
“A total of 76 suspected cases of Lassa fever were confirmed yesterday (Thursday) in the state and they are currently on admission in the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
“We have not recorded any new death but have also reduced our case fatality rate to less than 10 per cent.
“The number of cases in the ward now is 34, and we have discharge over 28 patients that have been fully treated and cured,”
Responding to this news, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu, said that to prevent the pandemic that this fever could cause if its spread is not checked, he said that any diagnosed and confirmed case discovered in any hospital across the 18 Local Government Areas that make up Edo State, such cases must be referred to Irrua Specialist hospital and isolation centers across the state.
“Ministries of environment, agriculture, education, information, and other relevant ministries should also step up in the area of public awareness of the people.
“The 18 local government councils of the state should call for an emergency meeting, which will include private health practitioners for the purpose of early referral,”
Mrs. Faith Ireye, the State Coordinator of WHO, advised that people should practice simple hand washing and not leaving food exposed to rats, as these practices were the only sure ways of not contracting the disease.