Ndukwu Chizaram, a doctor at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia, Abia state, has reportedly died of Lassa fever.
Innocent Orji, president of the association of resident doctors (ARD) in the state, said Chizaram took ill and was diagnosed with the disease after attending to an 11-month old baby who later died.
The baby was, however, not confirmed to have been infected with Lassa fever before his death.
Chizaram was said to have been taken to a private ward in the hospital after she took ill, and later transferred to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo, where she passed away.
The deceased reportedly joined the paediatrics department “barely a month” to her demise.
“Distinguished colleagues, we have an ongoing disaster in our hands. One of our members just died of Lassa fever at Irua specialist hospital,” Orji said while addressing health workers in the hospital.
“For now, anybody that worked in children emergency on 12th and 13th of this month, and in Slessor private ward on 29th and 30th should reach me immediately.
“The management has been informed and is already doing something. It is really a difficult time for all of us. But our priority now is to work with management to prevent further deaths. Contact tracing and risk stratification are currently underway. The response team of the hospital has been deployed.
“Make no mistake about this, what we have on our hands is a very big crisis and we sincerely hope that all hands will be on deck to see to the resolution of this crisis.”
Over 120 deaths have been recorded in the current Lassa fever outbreak which the World Health Organisation (WHO) rated as worst in Nigeria’s history.