Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Government yesterday confirmed that three people have died of Lassa fever.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rotimi Ojo, who made this known in Ado Ekiti, said five out of the eight suspected cases tested negative, while one was uncertain, and the last one pending as at press time.
Ojo added that the patient who tested positive and two others have died. The commissioner, however, assured that the state government is taking proactive steps in surveillance activities, which will involve residents, due to some recorded cases and deaths in neighbouring states.
He said the state disease control team has been activated while the process of sensitising the people with jingles, adverts and other communication media are ongoing.
Ojo said similar actions taken during the 2016 outbreak were successful, adding that the epidemic was perfectly controlled and the identified patient, who was properly managed, survived. He said the three isolation centres at Ido Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti; Oba Adejuyigbe General Hospital, Ado Ekiti and the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, are still operational.
He urged stakeholders, including health practitioners, teachers, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as community and opinion leaders to join hands with the state government to prevent the spread of the disease.
Ojo advised the people to avoid self-medication and keeping sick people at home, adding that any unusual increase in temperature or fever must be reported to the nearest health facility.
The commissioner also stressed the importance of environmental sanitation practices and general cleanliness, saying hand-washing, good food storage as well as practice and enforcement of infection prevention and control at various health facilities should not be compromised.