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Confirmed Dead In Fresh Lassa Fever Outbreak In Benue

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Cecilia Ojabo, the commissioner for health and human resources, in Benue State, has announced that two pregnant women and another person, who died of Lassa fever on Thursday, February 15, 2018, have been buried.

Ojabo told Punch that the victims were buried in their hometown, Adoka, in the Otukpo Local Government Area of the state.

The deceased, according to the state commissioner, were wrapped in sealed cellophane bags before they were put in their graves. According to her, relatives of the victims were given specific instructions not to open the sealed bags for whatever reason.

The commissioner said, “The health personnel were also on the ground to protect the environment against infection and to prevent anybody from tampering with the corpses even after burial.

“A team from the state’s Ministry of Health has also been constantly visiting the homes of the deceased in order to place their relatives who had contact with them before their demise, under observation.”

Meanwhile, David Osifo, the Commissioner for Health in Edo State, has said it is collaborating with authorities of the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital to curtail the spread of Lassa fever.

He explained that the state government, as part of the collaboration, had purchased two additional dialysis machines and other relevant medical equipment for use in the hospital.

Osifo noted that 45 persons, who were infected with the disease in the state, were currently receiving treatment at the hospital while their contact persons, were also placed under surveillance.

The commissioner blamed the casualty figure on inadequate facilities to manage the high number of patients who were undergoing treatment in the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Osun State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Tokunbo Olajumoke, said about 20 people, who had contact with a patient killed by Lassa fever virus at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, had been placed under watch to see whether they would develop symptoms of the virus.

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