LASSA FEVER: Delta, Anambra quarantine 28 doctors, clinic staff
At least 28 persons, including doctors, nurses and others are on quarantine and surveillance in Delta and Anambra States following the death of a medical doctor, Dr. Okeke, transferred from Asaba to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, after being diagnosed of Lassa Fever. As a result of the deadly outbreak, Ministry of Health, Asaba, has quarantined 18 persons, while 10 others have also been placed on same in neighbouring Anambra State, Vanguard reports.
This was confirmed by the Commissioner for Health, Delta State, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, who said measures have been put in place to manage the situation and contain the spread. “We are liaising with the Commissioner for Health in Anambra State and UNTH (sic), Nnewi, to ensure that all those who had contact with the late doctor were quarantined depending on the severity, and others placed on surveillance,” Azinge said.
The commissioner added that doctors and clinic staff that had contact with the deceased, both at Asaba and Nnewi, were on quarantine and surveillance, as the case may be. “Right now in the state, none of those quarantined has shown any symptom of Lassa Fever and our emergency response team is monitoring closely.” Incidentally, Dr. Okeke’s colleagues were treating him for malaria in Asaba, but it was at NAUTH, Nnewi, that laboratory investigations indicated Lassa Fever by which time, it was too late. Dr. Azinge then advised citizens to keep their environment clean and free of rats, which is the primary animal host of Lassa virus, while the ministry decides on the phase of action from the recent development. Meanwhile, a medical doctor in Asaba who preferred anonymity, demanded that government should provide adequate ribervarine for effective treatment in case anyone on surveillance develops symptoms, while also calling for total eradication of rats in the state.