Edo State has recorded four new deaths from Lassa fever, raising the total number of fatalities from the disease in the state to 20.

The state Commissioner, Prof. Akoria Obehi, who made the disclosure while briefing journalists in Benin City, said the new deaths were recorded in three local government councils in the state, including Etsako West, Etsako Central and Owan East LGAs. The Commissioner said most of the deaths recorded from the disease in the state were those who were unwell and failed to report to a proper hospital for care until they developed complications, urging residents to “take responsibility to work with the Ministry of Health, observe preventive measures and report early symptoms suspected to be malaria or any other sickness, so as to receive early and proper care.”

Noting that the state’s case fatality rate has increased to 13 percent, Prof. Akoria said the state has recorded a total of 155 confirmed cases from 11 local government areas. Decrying the steady rise of Lassa fever infections in the state, the Health Commissioner said Etsako West, Esan West, and Esan North East were the most affected local councils in the state with 63, 36, and 32 confirmed cases, respectively. She said the 20 deaths recorded in the state were spread among Etsako West, six; Esan North East, five; Esan West, three; Etsako East, two; Etsako Central, two; Oredo, one and Owan East, one. Prof. Akoria also noted that the state also has 54 people who are currently on admission at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).

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 noting that the patients are receiving medical care and responding to treatment.

She said: “While the government is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of Lassa fever across all Edo communities, including improving sensitisation campaigns, as well as surveillance and response activities, we urge everyone to be aware and take responsibility to work with the ministry of health and other partners, observe preventive measures against the spread of the disease and report early symptoms suspected to be malaria or any other illnesses that present like malaria.”