Taraba State Epidemiologist, Dr. Aketemo Udi, on Saturday confirmed that one person has so far died of Lassa fever in the state, contrary to some reports that three persons died of the epidemic in the state.
Udi explained that two other deaths recorded were from suspected cases of the disease and not confirmed Lassa fever cases.
“From our records, we have only one death from confirmed case of Lassa fever. We normally send our samples to Institute of Virology Lagos for laboratory test and confirmation.
“So, from the results we have, five out of 21 suspected cases are positive, one died out of the confirmed cases and the results for eight cases are still pending.
“There is nothing to hide, because we are here for public good. Those who tested positive are receiving treatment at the isolation unit of the Federal Medical Centre Jalingo,” he said.
The state epidemiologist noted that only a laboratory test could determine a confirmed case of Lassa fever because its symptoms were similar to Dengue fever, Yellow fever and other hemorrhagic diseases.
Udi who said the areas worst hit by the disease were Jalingo, Ibi, Gassol and Bali local government areas, warned that bush burning, eating of rats and unhygienic handling of food items were some of the causes of Lassa fever.
He enjoined the people of the state to maintain good hygienic environment to avoid the spread of the disease.
Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (Punch)