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Lassa fever outbreak kills 3 in Ebonyi

The Ebonyi State government Monday confirmed the death of three Medical Personnel from suspected Lassa fever infection in the State.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike who confirmed the incident at a news briefing in Abakaliki explained that two of the dead victims were Medical Doctors while the third person was a Nurse.

He revealed that the index patient who was treated by one of the Doctors and Nurse survived and has been discharged.

“Early last week there was suspected cases of Lassa and yesterday my attention was drawn to it that a doctor died of suspected Lassa .We sent twelve samples and four came out positive”.

Mr Umezuruike said the cause of the death of one of the Doctors has not been confirmed to be Lassa fever as he had Morbidity of Diabetes.

The Commissioner further said the victims came to the hospital late because they were self medicating when the symptoms started showing up.

“One was self medicating; he went to Mater Hospital in Afikpo. Two doctors he saw later advised him to go back to FETHA he refused until it was advanced before he came to the hospital”.

For the second Doctor, Umezuruike said because he has Morbidity of Diabetes his death has not yet been confirmed to be caused by Lassa fever.

Umezuruike debunked reports that the victims were taken to Irua Specialist Hospital in Edo state for treatment instead of the Virology Centre built by the state government in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

“He was treated at FETHA. We built and donated the Virology Centre to FETHA. The second case treated a woman who was bleeding after undergoing local ovuloctomy and he was treated by the doctor to arrest the bleeding on 29th December. They didn’t present to the hospital on time”.

He said the Ministry has commenced contact tracing in other to monitor anyone who came in contact with the patients to ensure that no further deaths are recorded.

He said this will help in tracing the source of the disease.









Charles Onyekwere,



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