Medical authorities in Ondo State have confirmed the report of six new cases of Lassa fever since February began.
It also stated that the number of deaths is now 22.
While speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, the Ondo State Epidemiologist, Stephen Fagbemi, said the total records of Lassa fever cases has been put at 126, while a little over 50 persons are still on admission, receiving treatment.
The rest have been treated and have returned to their homes, he said, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
“There are six new cases,” said Mr Fagbemi. “We are happy that there were no further deaths recorded with the new cases.”
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He said the newly infected persons were undergoing treatment along with the others who were recovering. According to him, the high death rate recorded this year was due to the fact that the infected persons arrived at the hospital late.
Mr Fagbemi said a female nurse was infected by the disease and had been treated, noting that the medical personnel were at risk of contracting the disease due to the fact that the symptoms were often not immediately suspected to be Lassa fever.
“When the patients come initially, you may not differentiate between malaria, typhoid fever from Lassa fever,” he said. “It is only after some treatment and the patient is not responding that Lassa fever is suspected.”
The state government said it is spending a total of N1.6 million to treat a patient.
Since the outbreak in January, a total of 16 persons died, with a total of 84 cases recorded.
But, at the close of the month of January, a total of 22 persons had died after 120 cases were recorded.
The areas of high prevalence include: Akoko South-West, Ose, Owo, Akure South and Ondo West local government areas.
A total of 115 cases were recorded in 2019 with a total death of 21 persons.
The state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has lamented the continued unhealthy practices by residents as the culprit for the recurrence of the disease, despite his government’s efforts at tackling the challenge.
Mr Akeredolu advised local government chairmen in the state to deploy cleaners to markets and public places while residents should maintain a high level of hygiene to curtail the spread of Lassa virus in the state.
He noted that the government had deployed the necessary resources and manpower to track the disease and urged residents to adopt recommended health measures to ensure the end of the disease.