Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nigeria, Kills 2 Doctors In Ebonyi State, other Doctors, nurses flee hospital

There was a pandemonium at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA, at the early hours of Monday as doctors and nurses fled the hospital over the outbreak of lassa fever in the state.

It was gathered that this followed the death of two doctors and a nurse on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State government has confirmed the death of the said doctors and a nurse, who contracted lassa fever after treatment of a patient at the hospital.

Briefing Journalists in Abakaliki, the commissioner for Health Dr. Daniel Umezurike regretted that the state had suffered so much outbreaks resulting from outbreaks of lassa fever, Ebola and monkey pox.

“It is either the outbreak of lassa fever or out break of Ebola or monkey pox and it is most unfortunate. Ebonyi state always have a share of these outbreaks.

“For instance, Lassa fever was first noticed in Ebonyi state in 2005 where 5 persons lost their lives in the then Ebonyi Teaching hospital, and nobody knows what it was then.

“In 2008, it struck again and 2 doctors oddly lost their lives. It was then that the federal government conducted a research and found out it was Lassa Fever.

“In 2014, we lost one person, in 2015 we lost another person, it was at the inception of this present government that the governor in his quest to control it, built a virology center and equipped it and it was upgraded to a zonal virology center”, he added.

Umezuruke regretted that the disease has again killed another doctor and a nurse, stressing the readiness o the state government to ensure that was controlled to averted the spread of the disease.

“It is most unfortunate that early last week, it was reported that there were suspected cases of Lassa fever and it was yesterday that my attention was drawn to it that a doctor died of suspected case of Lassa fever and we have sent a total of 12 samples and four ‎of them came out positive for Lassa fever.

“And so far, we have lost three patients but one of them had cold mobidity-a known diabetic and a known hypertensive. The sample has been collected, but the result has not been out. Precisely, what we have and was confirmed died of Lassa fever was two- a doctor and a nurse. The second doctor the result is still being processed.

“Some of the circumstances surrounding the death was late presentation because the three cases are coming from there different axis. One of the cases, a doctor took ill three weeks ago and he was taking self medication. He was treating himself of malaria and typhoid. Most of his colleagues told him to go for comprehsive check but never listened.

“When he want to go to hospital, he went to Mater hospital and this is a staff of FETHA that was on posting in one of the general hospitals. Even when he got to Mater hospital, one of the doctors there told him he was suspecting Lass Fever and told him to go back to FETHA, but he refused. He met the second doctor who told him to go back to FETHA that it is FETHA that can handle that case but he refused until the case was bad.

“When he presented himself, the team was on ground and as usual investigations ‎commenced and all were pointing to the disease. Unfortunately, he could not make it.

“The second case, it was reported that they managed a case of local ovulatomy. Local ovulatomy is the local practice of our people and the Hausa people do by cutting off the ovula in the mouth.

“After that local operation, the patient was bleeding ‎so she presented to the hospital. So, this doctor of Ear and Throat conducted another operation to control that bleeding but there was history of fever in that patient that was brought and a house officer assisted him.

“The nurse that took ill with him was the person that was suctioning the patient of blood and other secretion so as to prevent choking. After sometime, they took ill almost the same time. Then again, the one that died did not present to the hospital.

“He was also doing self medication, even when he came to the hospital, he was admitted. Along the line, he complained that the wife had a fracture that he could no longer stay in the hospital.

“But then, the confirmatory test has not been out for the managing team to confirm that it is Lassa fever to suspend him. He went home and in the next two days, he was brought back and was bleeding and before you know it, he convulsed and died.

“Like I mentioned, twelve sample has been collected, two precisely tested positive and died of Lassa fever. The third one is being suspected”, he stressed. ‎

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