Lassa fever: 16 under observation as Kwara strengthens surveillance at border

The Kwara Government on Tuesday said it had strengthened its surveillance at border communities while 16 people were under observation.

Speaking during a press conference, Dr Raji Razak, Kwara Commissioner for Health, stated that the 16 persons under observation who are Nigerians, were currently not showing any signs of illness.

The commissioner explained that a 38 – year old Beninoise woman, an index case, was confirmed for the case of Lassa fever in Benin Republic and died of the virus.

He added that the deceased worked in Budo Digai, near Bukuro, in Bwen/Kiyoru ward of Gwanara District, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara.

Razak said that she was afflicted with fever, body pains and subsequently bleeding from the nose, mouth and vagina.

According to him, she was referred to the Republic of Benin on Feb. 16 after admission at a private hospital in Baruten and died on Feb. 17 in Benin Republic.

“Three other family members, who are Beninoise, took ill and accessed care in Benin Republic General Hospital, Parakou, where they were confirmed positive for Lassa fever and currently managed in Benin.

“Our officers have since sprung into action and we already have the list of 16 persons whom the index case has contact with.

“The 16 persons are currently asymptomatic and we are following up on them,” Razak said.

The commissioner said that the state government had released the hotlines, 08064369063 and 09029397826, in case of any outbreak.

He urged the people of the state to be calm and take necessary precautionary measures to protect themselves and others by ensuring regular and thorough washing of the hands with soap and running water.

The commissioner also recommended regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and staying at home if unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. 

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