From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Suspected Lassa fever has killed three persons in Ogidigben Community, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Confirming the incident in Asaba at a media conference, the Head of Department ( HOD) of Environment, Warri South West Local Government Area, Mr Joseph Oyiborode, said that the three persons died of carelessness, adding that many may have been contaminated following the contact with the decease, adding that” we received a call from our Council on Friday that Lassa fever outbreak has killed three persons in the Council, and we swung into action and upon investigation, it was clear that the victims carelessness resulted in their death, especially when it was discovered that they have the symptoms and were diagnosed to be positive upon which they were supposed to have commenced treatment, but they escaped and claimed they have no such cases.”
But the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Ononye Mordi who spoke to journalists in Asaba confirmed that the victims died without official record, adding that the state government in quick response, had deployed health workers to the area including officials of the state Ministry of Health to the community with a view to ensuring that the spread is curtailed as soon as possible and allayed fear of the unknown in the state. Speaking further, Oyiborode said that” rats were the pollutive organisms, and when they get in contact with food items through urine or faeces they contaminate the food, and one becomes infected when the food is consumed by unsuspecting victims.
He however, called on Ogidigben residents to keep their surroundings clean and avoid breeding rodents in their homes, adding that people with symptoms of haemorrhagic fever, sour throat, bleeding and acute headache should visit the hospital for proper checkup so as to avoid spreading the disease.
Sources said that the victims before they died, allegedly vomited blood, and were stooling while they were rushed to the hospital where they were rejected following the suspected cases of Lassa fever.
In a swift reaction, the Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Health, Mr Donald Ojebo said that there was no official record of Lassa fever outbreak in Ogidigben Community, adding that the victims may have died of something else and not Lassa fever outbreak and called on the people of Ogidigben Community to always provide useful information in regard to Lassa fever if there is any to the Ministry of Health for prompt response and action as the state government.