Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State has confirmed two cases of the Lassa Fever infection, with one patient said to be dead.
The identity of the dead victim could not be ascertained as at press time but the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, confirmed the cases in Asaba late Wednesday.
The patient, our correspondent learnt, was brought in on Sunday and died on Monday.
Azinge said he is in contact with his counterpart in Anambra State in regard to the dead victim, who is said to have been brought in from Anambra State to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba.
He added that the corpse will be handed over to his colleague so that proper burial arrangement is carried out, so as not to expose more persons to the disease.
The other case, according to him, is a 43-year old man who was brought to the FMC and successfully treated.
He was later referred to Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo State.
Aringe said the family members of the man and the ambulance driver who conveyed him to the hospital are being closely monitored, while other contact tracing is on-going.
The Commissioner made the disclosures while donating personal protective items on behalf of the state government to the management of FMC, as part of its collaborative efforts to address the spread of the disease.
The items included 250 pieces of disposable coat/suit, 500 pieces elbow length gloves, 50 packets of surgical hand gloves, 50 sets protective boots, among others.
Azinge said the items would enable medical personnel at the hospital to effectively fight the disease that has re-emerged after a deadly outbreak in 2016, when a medical doctor in an Asaba private hospital lost his life.
The Commissioner assured Deltans that the relevant authorities are on top of the situation, adding that there is no need for residents to be alarmed since the state was able to effectively handle the disease the last time it emerged.
He added all the Primary Healthcare Centres in the state have been activated, while sensitization activities have been stepped up, and advised residents to report any case of malaria and typhoid fever that are not responding to treatment to the nearest medical facility, as early report of cases will save lives.
Receiving the items, Medical Director, FMC, Asaba, Dr. Victor Osiatuma, expressed gratitude to the state government for the gesture.
Speaking on the dead victim, Osiatuma said the hospital is strictly following the protocol of handling the corpse in order not to spread the disease.
He assured residents of the ability of the hospital to handle the disease, stating that with the donated items and training given to their personnel, the spread will be effectively curbed.