The Bauchi Government says Lassa fever has killed three people in the state, just as it recorded 25 suspected cases of the disease in seven local government areas. The Chairman of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Gamawa, confirmed this on Tuesday at the opening of clinician sensitisation training on Lassa fever in Bauchi.
According to him, the state has recorded 25 suspected cases, five lab-confirmed cases, one probable case with three deaths between January 1 and March 4.
“Workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease.
“Especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to,’’ he said.
The chairman listed the affected local government areas as Alkaleri, Bauchi, Bogoro, Dass, Tafawa Balewa, Toro, and Warji.
Gamawa reminded healthcare workers that Lassa fever presents initially like any other disease-causing a febrile illness such as malaria.
He, therefore, advised them to practice standard precautions at all times, maintaining a high index of suspicion.
“Rapid Diagnostic Test must be applied to all suspected cases of malaria.
“When the RDT is negative, other causes of febrile illness including Lassa fever should be considered.
“Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chances of survival,’’ he said.
The chairman said Lassa it could be prevented through practising good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.
Gamawa said the state government had set up a Lassa fever Rapid Response Committee to tackle reported cases.
The state Director, Diseases Control in the agency, Mrs. Lois Daniel, said the objective of the training was to give the participants an overview of Lassa fever in Nigeria.
“To update their knowledge on prevention and control measures within the health facility and community.
“Also to increase their awareness and index of suspicion increase on the suspected cases of Lassa fever,” she said.
The director warned family members who are providing care for patients with Lassa fever to take extra caution.