The outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria has spread to Port Harcourt, the
Rivers state capital where a nursing mother and her two-week-old baby
have been confirmed to have died of the deadly viral disease. This comes
after the Taraba state government last week confirmed the outbreak of
the disease in their state.
“First incident happened between December 30, 2015, and January 1, to a
mother and later to her two weeks old child. Yesterday, at about 10:00
pm, I received a call that a mother and child died in a hospital
following similar and serious fever which killed them and was suspected
to be Lassa fever. After series of test conducted on them, it was
confirmed they died of the disease.”.
He said that contact tracing had begun and sensitisation of health care
providers was ongoing to address the disease.
Lassa fever is a deadly viral disease that is transmitted by infected
rodents. The virus is usually transmitted after exposure to infected
rodents and also through direct contact with a person that has been
infected with the virus.
Precautionary measures to avert being infected include ensuring a clean,
rodent-free environment, putting food in rodent proof containers and
wearing protections such as masks, gloves, gowns among others.
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