Benue Records Fresh 4 Cases of Lassa Fever


By Amos Aar

FOUR cases of lassa fever have been confirmed in Benue State after the initial 16 cases and one death recorded recently in 2023.

State Epidemiologist, Dr Samuel Ngishe, disclosed this on Tuesday while providing update on Brothers FM, Makurdi on the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state

He said that following the development, the relevant health departments in the state have been doing contact tracing of people who may have come in contact with the infected persons to get them isolated and managed.

Dr Ngishe noted that there are possible deaths of people who have contracted the disease from other states and their corpse brought home for burial.

He urged members of the public to report suspected cases to the state surveillance team so as to protect those who have not contracted the disease.

“Some hospitals have referred certain cases to us that have turned up to be Lassa Fever positive cases which shows that [conventional] hospitals are also critical for us to be able to have what is called early diagnosis to manage these cases because what is important is to make sure that we have early diagnosis”, Dr Ngise said.

The Health Expert affirmed that the major agent of the Lassa Fever is a the rat of a particular specie, adding that since it was difficult for people to identify the rat that carries the virus, they were duty bound to stay away from the consumption of rats.

Dr Ngise further stated that Road Safety has been asked to notify the state health officials of people consuming rat so that they can be followed up to change that behaviour.

“We have had cases of health care workers’ infection in the State in the past and we are also mindful that once a health worker is infected and because of the community that he works in where people come in large quantities, it’s possible that they will serve as focal persons for infection and so we are very curious about it”, he added.

The State Epidemiologist advised people who have fever and have not responded to normal treatment with antimalarial to notify the health system. According to him, the state was ready to tackle the disease having set up an infectious disease centre at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital where experts and drugs are available to manage patients.


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