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Lassa Fever spreads to Akwa Ibom, kills 53-year-old woman

Lassa Fever spreads to Akwa Ibom, kills 53-year-old woman
January 25
20:26 2016

The current outbreak of Lassa Fever has spread to Akwa Ibom state, killing a 53-year-old woman.

Dominic Ukpong, commissioner for health, confirmed this in Uyo, capital of the state, at the inauguration of a taskforce on the eradication of the virus.

He disclosed that there were two suspected cases of the virus and that one of the suspected victims had absconded, while the second was a person under treatment for HIV.

Ukpong urged the people of Akwa Ibom to improve on their sanitary conditions to eliminate the disease from the state.

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He added that since the state had been identified among the 20 states with the pandemics, people must observe things that were required to end the disease.

“As I am talking to you, Akwa Ibom has two suspected cases and one confirmed case and the victim is now late,” he said.

“The confirmed case, a 53-year-old woman who used to sell crayfish had died. Her test result came out after she had died.

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“One of the persons with suspected case has absconded. The third case is someone that has been under treatment for HIV. This shows how serious this problem has become in the state.

“We are worried because of the fact that during the Christmas period, the 53-year-old woman got in contact with some of her family members and some of them had already travelled back to other states before she took ill on January 5 and then went to a private hospital where she was attended to.

“The doctors suspected at the private clinic that it was a bigger health issue and referred her to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital. She was isolated and she eventually died but her test result that she had Lassa fever only came out after she died.

“So, we have a situation here that should concern all of us. And we are also going to trace those that she had contact with in the hospitals and the mortuary workers. It is a big problem and I want to appeal to health workers that we must get every detail on every patient.”

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Ukpong warned health workers to always protect themselves against infectious diseases and also warned indigenes and residents against consuming rat meat, irrespective of type, and to ensure proper storage of food items, as well as dispose garbage far away from their houses in order not to attract rats into the houses.

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