By Muyiwa Adeyemi
A female student nurse at the Federal Teaching Hospital (FETHI) Ido Ekiti, Ekiti State at the weekend tested positive for the dreaded Lassa Fever infection.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Olurotimi Ojo, who disclosed the first case of the infection in the state on Monday at the Stakeholders meeting on Lassa Fever, said the patient is currently being isolated at the hospital, while efforts were being made by experts to effect that she survives.
Dr Ojo, who revealed that the disease has been endemic, particularly in Borno State since 1969, said the patient was said to have been treated for Malaria and Typhoid fever with high profile antibiotics, but she did not respond to treatment.
He said the situation had given room for suspicion and further diagnostic steps, where the patient was said to have been tested positive to the disease.
He said, “Over the weekend, the state had confirmed a case of Lassa fever that is being managed at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti. The patient is stable and had commenced treatment.
“Immediately the patient was diagnosed and confirmed, the management began the process of contact tracing. Once you have an index case, there is tendency of having a primary case and possible spread and this could be dangerous.
“Though, the doctors are handling the situation and monitoring the situation very closely . So, nobody has been quarantined after the contact tracing”, he said.
Ojo added that the State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose had already prepared an isolated ward within the premises of Oba Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado Ekiti, even before the breakout of the disease in the State.
“However, the situation is being curtailed from efforts from the State government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO), through the office of the national centre for disease control.
“The governor is also embarking on public and town-to-town sensitization about Lassa fever through the airing of jingles on the state broadcasting corporation and distribution of IEC materials to the people”.
He advised the people of the state to take precautionary measures and refrain from taking risk that can lead to the contact or spread of the disease.