Osagie Ehanire

Nigeria Lassa Fever Deaths Hit 41 in 250 Cases – Minister

The Federal Government said on Tuesday the country had recorded about 250 cases of Lassa fever nationwide, with 41 deaths.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, gave the figures while giving an update on the Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

The minister, who made the declaration at a press conference in Abuja, said six health workers were among those infected by the disease.

The conference was called to kick-start national sensitisation and health awareness in the country,

Ehanire made the declaration just as the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State, Prof. Sylvania Okogbenin, also on Tuesday, disclosed that the Federal Government was concluding talks to declare the treatment for Lassa fever free.

Okogbenin, who spoke with journalists in his office in Irrua, said 91 cases of Lassa fever had been reported to the hospital.

“We have not lost anybody in the last two weeks. It was in the first week that we lost the three. In the wards now, we have 61 patients. Since this January till date, we have seen 91 patients. Sixty one are in the wards now. We have lost three patients since that time and the others have been discharged because they have recovered and gone home,” he said.

He added that more than 50 per cent of those on admission in the wards were from Edo State, mostly from Esan-North East, Etsako-West and Esan-West.

Others, according to him, are patients from neighbouring states like Delta and Kogi while the remaining ones are transferred from Ogun, Jigawa and Ondo states.

Okogbenin dismissed the rumour that a youth corper from Asaba was dead, declaring that he was alive, responding to treatment and might be discharged very soon.

“The youth corper has not died, he is recovering, he has two sessions of dialysis and he is doing well and we do expect him to get better and go home. I’m saying this because some of his colleagues came here and said he had died. The doctor from Jalingo is also not dead, he is doing well. We have to dialyze him and work on his kidneys and we do expect him to make a full recovery very soon. The pregnant women who came from Ogun State and the one from Owo are doing well. They have been delivered of their babies,” he said.

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