Bauchi Records Four Cases Of Lassa Fever
By Rita Michael, Bauchi
Bauchi State has recorded four suspected cases of Lassa fever in January 2016.
The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry Health, Dr Saidu Aliyu Gital, disclosed this in a press conference in Bauchi.
Gital, who dismissed the report of any death as a result of Lassa fever in the state since the year began, said that only four cases were reported since January 1st to 10, 2016.
He said, "In January 2016, we have recorded four suspected cases of Lassa fever, with none confirmed positive. The results of three were negative while the 4th person who incidentally came from Kanam LGA of Plateau State is already ill and the result is still being awaited.
According to him, the affected LGA's in the state are Tafawa-Balewa, Dass, Toro, Alkaleri and Bauchi.
Gital also disclosed that Lassa fever has killed 24 persons in the state from 2012 to 2015.
He said that six cases of Lassa fever were recorded in 2012 with four confirmed positive while five were reportedly died. In 2013, according to him, 27 cases were reported, 10 were confirmed positive and 10 died and in 2014, the state recorded 30 cases, eight confirmed positive and six died but in 2015, 14 cases were recorded while six confirmed positive and three died.
"We are aware that Bauchi is prone to Lassa fever but the state government has put adequate measure in place to curtail it.
"The state government has put in place the existence of the state rapid response team for all epidemic prone diseases including Lassa fever from the (SMOH) and the state Primary Healthcare SDevelopemnt Agency with technical support from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital and International working in the state as as WHO and other sector collaborations.
Other measures put in place by the government, according to Gital, is the prompt and routine collection of blood samples for onward referral to National Lassa Fever Treatment Centre at Irrua in Edo State.
Others are mass media campaign to create awareness and sensitization, training of clinicians in the public and public and private health facilities with particular attention to the affected LGAs.
He also said that the government has involved religious and traditional leaders as part of measures to fight Lassa Fever, while the federal ministry of health has supported the state government with proactive equipment and Ribavirin tablets to curtail the spread of the disease.
Gital said that efforts were in place for surveillance committed to trace all cases of Lassa fever.