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NCDC, Ebonyi govt engage health experts for Lassa fever control

Lassa fever: Edo records 10 new cases, 8 deaths

Ernest Agbata, a medical doctor with Agbata Memorial Hospital, Adani Uzo-Uwani in Enugu State has narrated how he contracted the Lassa fever virus and survived after 10 days.

BusinessDay reports that several health workers, who contracted the deadly disease had died, including a serving nurse at Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi State.

Agbata narrated his experience with the deadly disease during Lassa fever case management training organized by the Ebonyi State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and the World Health Organization.

The event took place in Abakaliki, the State capital with health experts in attendance.

He explained that he contracted the disease and spent 10 days before diagnosis, but he is alive to tell the story, describing Lassa fever as a highly endemic that kills fast especially if a person has serious ailments including kidney and liver diseases.

Agbata identified lack of diagnosis as the problem affecting the fight against the disease in the Country.

“I contracted Lassa fever and I spent almost 10 days before diagnosis was carried out and I am still alive. Some had renal injuries and died. Lassa fever is a very bad haemorrhage disease. If you have some health problems like kidney problems and contract it, you will die early.

“Lassa fever is highly endemic and the problem is lack of diagnosis by Doctors, that’s the major problem. The problem is for the Doctor to be able to think in the direction of Lassa, not that they cannot make it”, he said.

But, Anais Legend, Technical Officer, of Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers Infectious Hazard Management, WHO Health Emergencies, noted that many people contracted the disease through rodents, especially when their babies are born and they have contact with them.

She urged people to always secure their foods and avoid having contact with rodents to avoid contracting the disease.

Hyacinth Ebenyi State Director of Public Health, said Lassa fever remains a critical health concern in Nigeria.