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Lassa fever claims 4 lives in Ebonyi, 139 under surveillance

The death toll of victims of Lassa fever in Ebonyi State has risen to 4, following one fresh death recorded on Thursday while the incident happened six days after the virus reoccurred in the state.

The development came just as the state government revealed that the virus has spread to some other states of the federation including Edo, Nasarawa, among others.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezurike, stated this in a joint press briefing with his Education Commissioner counterpart, Prof. John Eke.

Umezurike added that a total of nine cases have been confirmed, while three are at critical stage of treatment while over 139 persons have placed under surveillance in the state.
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He noted that two among the three under treatment were a mother and child.

He said, “At present, the state has a total of nine confirmed cases, four death and three others on treatment including 139 persons now under surveillance.

“Also, a mother and child have been confirmed positive and they are presently taking treatment and this incident happened yesterday (Wednesday).

“And at present, there are similar cases reported in other states of the federation including Edo, Nassarawa.”
In the same vein, pupils and students of secondary schools in the state have deserted their schools, following the announcement by the state government to shut down schools in Ebonyi state.

Eke pointed out that the immediate closure was to curtail further spread of the virus in the state.

He said, “The decision was taken following a mother and her child who tested positive to the disease yesterday and the schools would remain closed till Friday next week.”

Eke, however warned parents to be mindful of who they and their children relate with and ensure that they keep their environment clean, in order to help efforts being made to mitigate the spread of the disease.

But The Daily Times gathered that not all the private schools in the state complied to this directive.

One of our Correspondents who monitored some of the public schools at Amike-Aba in Ebonyi Local Government Council of the state, reports that there was total compliance by parents and children, essentially those in public schools.

Meanwhile, the state government has soft-pedaled on some of her minor meetings in the state so as to curb the spread of the disease.

But, Mr. Kelechi Onyema, President of the Proprietors of Private Schools in the state, warned that the body would punish any schools that flaunted the order of the state.

He said, “This order is for the good of all us, so any school that failed to obey will face sanction”.

Edward Nnachi, Abakaliki and Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja

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