Kastina Records First Cases of Lassa Fever, One Dead

Lassa fever is transmitted to humans from contacts with food or household items contaminated with rodent faeces or urine [File: Simon Akam/Reuters]
A twenty-six-year-old pregnant woman, who tested positive to Lassa fever, has died in Katsina State.

Executive Secretary of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Shamsudeen Yahaya, announced this at a news briefing in Katsina.

He said the deceased, who was three-months pregnant, was one of six suspected cases, out of which four tested negative and two were positive.

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Nigeria declared an outbreak of Lassa fever a year ago and around 170 people died from the virus in 2019. The number of cases usually climbs in January due to weather conditions during the dry season.

“As at 24th of January 2020, 195 confirmed cases and 29 deaths had been reported in 11 states,” the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said in a statement.

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The minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire had announced that Nigerian would support efforts in producing vaccines for the virus.

First case in Katsina state

The deceased is the first case reported in Katsina state, while the second positive patient, is said to be responding to treatment at the General Hospital Kankia.

She would be relocated to an isolation centre in Katsina.

Dr. Yahaya said the other four women that were tested for the disease travelled to Bauchi State for a social event, after which they fell sick and were taken to General hospital Kusada from where they were referred to General hospital, Kankia.

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He said the disease epidemiology unit was monitoring the situation closely, as all health facilities in the state have been placed on red alert.

He said in addition, screening centres have been created at various points while Disease Surveillance Teams have been dispatched to the thirty-four Local Government Areas of the state to report any suspected case of the disease.

Isma’il Adamu

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