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Nigerian government gives update - Lassa fever

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2020-03-26 11:47:53
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The Federal Government Committee on Lassa fever has said it will adopt new proactive strategies to curtail outbreak of the disease in some parts of the country.

Dr Daniel Iya, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, a member of the committee, disclosed this on Friday to newsmen in Lafia.

The committee is led by Professor Oyewale Tomori, a renowned virologist and President, Nigeria Academy of Science.

“Our expectation based on experience from the past is that Lassa fever outbreak occurs during dry season.

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“However, over the last three years, we have discovered that the outbreak is no longer limited to dry season but also during rainy season as with the current outbreak”, he said.

Iya expressed concern that states in the southern part of the country such as Lagos that had not reported case of the disease in the past were now recording incidents.

The commissioner emphasised the need for patients exhibiting with symptoms of the disease to report to health facilities early for diagnosis to increase their chances of survival.

“If suspected patients do not visit the hospital early enough, no matter the amount of treatment that you give, the patient is likely to die,” Iya said, addingthat the focus should be more on prevention.

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“The treatment of Lassa fever for a single patient is almost N1 million. The drugs are expensive; but even more expensive, are the protective gears for medical personnel and care givers.

“Each gear cost between N30,000 to N40,000, and if you have three nurses and a doctor attending to a Lassa fever patient on shift, then you are talking about four of those gears each day,” Iya said.

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