The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has called on members of the public to be vigilant over Lassa fever. He also confirmed the death of a health worker from the disease in Ogun State.
Mr. Adewole gave the advice through a press statement by his ministry on Wednesday.
The authorities in Ogun state, where the death occurred, have set up an isolated centre to monitor scores of persons who had contacts with the victim.
Mr. Adewole, a professor of medicine, urged Nigerians to be calm and seek care in healthcare facilities in the event they noticed any symptom of the disease.
“Anybody with symptoms which include fever, headaches, vomiting, should report immediately at the nearest medical facility.
“Healthcare professionals are reminded to test before treating for suspected malaria, and if the test is negative for malaria, to maintain a high index of suspicion for Lassa fever. Lassa fever is treatable when detected early.
“Medical personnel are hereby directed to report cases of suspected Lassa fever immediately to the state Epidemiologist, who has been provided with the commodities, by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, to respond to cases,” he said.
The death of the health worker in Ogun came barely four months after the state government declared the state free of the disease.
The viral disease, known as Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever (LHF), has claimed many lives.
According to a Channels Television news report, the Ogun State commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye, who also confirmed the incident, said that about 196 primary contacts with the victim and possible secondary contacts were being monitored.
Mr. Ipaye stated that though the primary source of the new case was yet to be identified, the case was being investigated.
Also, the acting chief medical director of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Kehinde Hunyinbo, who spoke on the development said that the area where the deceased was attended to has been decontaminated, while an isolation centre and other necessary things meant for treatment had been put in place.
He added that the centre was working hand in hand with the Ogun state government to curtail the spread of the virus.