By Olusola Oke
No fewer than 102 people have been confirmed to be positive with Lassa fever, in addition to 15 deaths recorded in Ondo State between January and Febuary.
Dr Wale Oke, the State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Akure.
“As at Thursday Feb. 21, 102 people have been tested positive to Lassa fever this year.
“82 people in Jan. and 20 people so far in February apart from 15 deaths recorded in January as a result of the fever but no death has been recorded so far in Feb.
“Most people that died either reported late or were already subjected to alternative treatment and doing self medication before they eventually came to hospital.
“Their kidneys and livers had been affected as a result of the delay,” he said
Oke, who is also a staff member at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, urged residents of the state to report early to the medical centre if they experienced upsurge of temperature in their bodies.
“We have Contact Tracing Mechanism whereby we can place on surveillance for 21 days for those that may have contact with infected persons.
“We continue to monitor their temperature if it is above 37.8 we direct them for quick treatment,’’ he said.
According to him, the centre has the highest success rate out of the three treatment centres in Nigeria for Lassa fever treatment.
He added that the State Government had put in place measures to curtail the fever, adding that the government had declared state of emergency on health sector.
Oke explained that Ondo NMA alongside Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and others had engaged in series of sensitisation for the people of the state.
He explained that the exercise was aimed at preventing further cases in the state.
“Since the outbreak of Lassa fever, we have been moving round all the health facilities to sensitise our people to the need to maintain universal caution and also to be vigilant about Lassa fever.
“So far, we have been to almost all the local government areas in the state. We rounded off with Akoko last Wednesday.
“NMA is concerned with the infection, prevention and control out of the so many pillars involved in the management of Lassa fever, hence the basis for the sensitisation.’’
However, OKE revealed that Owo, Ose, Akoko North, Akure South and Akure North were the Local Government Areas in the state that had recorded cases of Lassa fever .