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Lassa Fever Epidemic Kills Four, Leaves Many Critically ill in Plateau

Agabus Pwanagba, Jos

A Plateau State Epimidiologist, Dr Raymond Juryit has confirmed four persons dead due to outbreak of Lassa Fever in Bassa Local Government Areas – the North- Southern Jos.

Dr Juryit with the State Ministry of health, made the disclosure to newsmen in Jos on Thursday. He announced that there was an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic Lassa fever in the local councils adding that out of 15 cases received so far, four had died.

He attributed the development to non-availability of adequate vaccination to combat deadly disease, lamenting that “Ribavirin is the only drug for treatment of Lassa fever, but we don’t have it right now; we usually receive them from Federal Ministry of Health every year but we have not received for this year yet”.

According to him, “doctors now depend on symptomatic treatment rather than curative…” He therefore urged residents of the affected areas to maintain high personal hygiene and environmental sanitation as preventive measures against the scourge.

In the same vein, the Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr Fom Dakwak confirmed the epidemic. He stated other persons affected by Lassa fever were presently at Bingham Teaching Hospital in Jos and were in dire need of drugs, confirming the State lacks drugs to treat the ailment, despite efforts to get them from the Federal Ministry of Health.

“For the past three months, we have been trying to get the drugs from the ministry but we could get them yet. Our major challenge right now is that we are unable to receive the drugs from the Ministry. We cannot get this drugs in the market, the drugs are produce by the manufacturers based on orders by the federal Ministry of health. But we are still considering an alternative in order to rescue the situation”, the Commissioner emphasized.


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