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Lassa fever: Delta Records One Case

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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The dreaded Lassa fever that has killed over 40 people in the country has hit Delta State, with the patient currently at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Asaba, the state capital.

The patient, who has been confirmed Lassa fever positive by a top management staff of FMC said the matter is a federal government case, “We have been banned from speaking on it, only the Minister of Health and the Commissioner of Health in the state that can comment on it”.

Our source said, the blood sample of the patient has been sent for further clarification, insisting that he has communicated same to the Ministry of Health through the phone numbers made available by the ministry.

Although, the name of the Lassa fever patient was not mentioned, it was gathered that the patient came in from Anambra State, last week.

Contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) in the Ministry of Health, Mr. Churchill Oyowe who confirmed it to our correspondent on phone, denied that it was not a new case as the patient was already dead.

Oyowe said “the patient came from Anambra State last week between Thursday and Friday, the patient is dead and I will issue a release today to that effect”.

However, why our source at the Federal Medical Centre told our correspondent that it was a fresh case, the PRO argued that it was not, stressing that the person was dead.

It would be recall that the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge during a press briefing told journalists in Asaba that no case of the Lassa fever virus has been recorded in the state, disclosing that the state government has placed seven local government areas under surveillance due to their closeness with Edo and Rivers States where the disease has occurred to prevent a possible outbreak of the epidemics in the state.