Lassa fever kills two doctors, 14 others in Bauchi

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Rukayat Akanbi, Bauchi

The Bauchi State Surveillance Support has disclosed that epidemic Lassa Fever has killed two medical doctors and 14 other people in the state.

Surveillance Officer, Dr. Suleiman Lawal, told journalists yesterday at the lassa fever camp at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, he said that a total of 43 confirmed cases recorded in the state since January, 2020.

Lawal said two out of the cases were brought in from Plateau State. According to him, among the confirmed cases, 16 deaths has been recorded this year.

He noted that: “There are also three people that have died of probable cases. They are called ‘probable cases’ because we couldn’t take their samples before they died.

“Totally, we have seven health workers that were affected. One of the doctors who was pregnant and had the disease, we managed her and discharged her. Four others are currently on admission, we’ve been managing them. They are now stable, in fact, we will discharge two of them today because they have finished their 10 day treatment period.

“Two doctors died, one was a doctor that died here (at the ATBUTH) while the other one died in a private clinic here in Bauchi.

“Most of the deaths are as a result of late reporting and that is not our fault, something will happen and people will not report on time so we are appealing to people to always come on time,” he advised.

According to him, the state has received assistance from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its efforts aimed at reducing the scourge of the disease to the barest minimum even as he appealed to well-meaning members of the public to support in the fight against lassa fever.

Lawal said that there are seven pillars that will help in managing the epidemic which he said are: education, communication, risk communication, surveillance, case management, laboratory confirmation and prevention and control.

He pointed out that communication is key in managing the epidemic.

“If people get the correct information, they will know how protect themselves and this will help in breaking this chain and reducing the spread. Sometimes people feel it has spiritual undertones, but if you give them the correct information, they will know exactly what it is, so communication is a very key pillar in controlling outbreak responses.

“You know when you have one case and you allow it, it will spread but once you are able to contain it, then you will limit the spread and it will die naturally,” Lawal said.

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