Health Minister Calls for Calm Amid Fresh Fears as Lassa Fever Kills 2 in Ogun
There were chaotic scenes at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Tuesday as medical personnel and patients fled from the hospital after the dreaded Lassa fever claimed two lives.
This is coming barely four months after the state government declared the entire state Lassa fever free.
According to Punch, the victims were an assistant nursing officer, Abolanle Adesuyi, and a serving corps member whom she contracted the disease from, in the process of administering medication at the FMC.
Stunned by the deaths of the two victims, hospital management commissioned a test at the University College Hospital, Ibadan to determine the cause,
Once results filtered in Tuesday that their deaths over the weekend were Lassa fever related, medical personnel and patients on admission deserted the place.
It is understood that two others – a doctor and a nurse – were reportedly being monitored at the intensive care unit of the FHC, Idi-Aba, for signs of the virus.
The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Segun Orisajo, confirmed that Adesuyi, who’d been placed under watch alongside two members of staff, died of the virus.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye, while confirming the incident in a statement in Abeokuta on Tuesday, allayed the fears of the medical workers, saying the situation “does not call for unnecessary panic.”
He said his ministry in collaboration with the FMC would quickly set up an isolation centre at the hospital to help in containing such emergencies.
Similarly, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the virus is under control as his ministry has put in place measures to not only diagnose it, but to treat infected individuals.
He called on all healthcare providers to be alert to their responsibilities and be on the lookout for signs of the disease.