Kogi State government moves to curtail Lassa fever spread


Kogi State government has disclosed plans to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in the state.

This followed the death of an infant at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, and the infection of the medical doctor who attended to him.

The state Commissioner for Health, Haruna Saka, confirmed the incident to The Guardian in a telephone interview.

He said a team set up by the state to curtail the spread has been doing everything possible to check the spread.

The infant had died in the early hours of Friday, after being admitted at the hospital.

It was learnt that the incident had since thrown the hospital into confusion, as patients admitted in the same ward with the baby made frantic efforts to be discharged.

The commissioner said the medical workers on duty at the FMC Lokoja, have been placed on red alert to trace the baby and the doctor’s line of contacts.

Already, those suspected to have had contact with the deceased child and the infected doctor, have been quarantined, he said.

He disclosed that the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Olatunde Alabi, had summoned an emergency meeting of the doctors to appraise the situation.

He said: “We need to prevent the spread beyond the health workers their families and the baby’s line of contacts.

“That is what we are currently doing and we will commence treatment with the oral reverberine immediately on those at risk.

He said the government is fully involved in the treatment of the infected doctor, who had been transferred to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State.

The chief medical director disclosed that the 30-year old male doctor was diagnosed of the disease on January 19, 2018.

He explained that his blood sample, which was sent to the medical centre, Irrua on Saturday tested positive.

The CMD disclosed that the World Health Organisation (WHO), the state Ministry of Health and other stakeholders had been informed about the development, and were also assisting them.

He stressed that the FMC would further embark on health education for its workers to prevent a human-to-human transmission of the disease.

He called on members of the public to report suspected cases early before they get out of hand.

Alabi also appealed to residents to take urgent steps to eliminate rats from their houses and surroundings.

He warned that foodstuffs like gari, rice, beans, maize should be kept in airtight containers to prevent being contaminated by rats.

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