Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, records Lassa fever death

Patients in hospital ward [FILE PHOTO]

Nigerian health authorities have announced the death of a Lassa fever victim in Abuja, the first fatality in the nation’s capital since the latest outbreak in November 2015.

The minister of health, Isaac Adewole, made the announcement Wednesday evening at the National Hospital, the press director, Boade Akinola, at the health ministry, said in a statement.

The medical director of the hospital, Jack Momoh, who briefed the minister, said the patient was brought in unconscious from a private hospital in Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja, where he had been admitted for eight days.

The 33-year-old newly married lived in Jos, Plateau State, but travelled to see a family member in Kubwa because of his illness. He however died within 24hours of presentation at the national hospital.

The statement said the minister had directed that all primary and secondary contacts of the victim, including the staff of the private hospital in Kubwa, an Abuja suburb, where the deceased was first managed for one week before referral to National Hospital, be tracked.

He also advised that family members should report at the nearest hospital if anyone has fever for more than two days.

The minister, however called on the residents of Abuja not to panic but to maintain high level vigilance and present themselves for test if they feel unhealthy or they feel symptoms of Lassa fever which include high fever, stooling, tiredness, vomiting, etc., adding that self-medication should be avoided at this period.

The latest death from Lassa fever brings the total number of deaths to 43 in the country (from 10 states).

The government said on Tuesday that Lassa fever, an acute viral illness, had claimed 41 lives from 93 reported cases in 10 states of the country.

The first case of the current outbreak was reported from Bauchi in November 2015.

Mr. Adewole said at a news conference on Tuesday that the government had raised a four-man expert committee, chaired by Michael Asuzu, a professor, to visit Kano, Niger and Bauchi, the three most endemic states.

“The committee will embark on a fact finding mission, assess the current situation, document response experiences, identify gaps and proffer recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences,” Mr. Adewole, a professor, said.

The minister assured the public the task of the committee was not to apportion blame but rather to document lessons learnt for better planning of an affective responsive.

According to Mr. Adewole, part of the long term response is to establish an inter-ministerial committee to deliver a final blow on Lassa fever and other related diseases.

The committee comprises the ministers of Education, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environment, Information and Culture as well as Health.

He advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices.

He also urged the public to avoid contact with rodents as well as food contaminated with rat’s secretions and excretions.

According to him, the affected states are Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo.

“The public is hereby assured that government and other stakeholders are working tirelessly to address the outbreak and bring it to timely end,” said the minister.

He said the ministry had ordered for the immediate release of adequate quantities of “ribavirin”, the specific antiviral drug for Lassa fever, to the affected states for prompt treatment of cases.

Mr. Adewole said Nigeria had the capability to diagnose Lassa fever, adding that “all the cases reported so far were confirmed by our laboratories”.


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  • Man_Enough

    This thing don dey pass be careful o.

    • Elder kuti

      Dear Editor,

      Re: Ms. Tabia Princewill and the colors of apostasy

      I read an execrable write-up in today’s VANGUARD
      newspaper by one Ms Tabia Princewill, a supposed columnist, whose photo took
      a tenth of the whole page in narcissism. She wrote nonsense for the most part.
      She said things are well in Nigeria because IMF boss Madame Lagarde said so.
      That is a blatant lie that should never have been published even as an opinion,
      because opinion must conform with facts to be publishable.

      Ms. Tabia Princewill feels herself under
      oath to support the APC and Muhammadu Buhari no matter how horrific the real facts
      of governance incompetence might be. That sort of invidious mindset is exactly what’s
      destroying Nigerian journalism today, with newspapers’ opinions now at an all-time low.
      Luckily, Madame Lagarde was in Paris 24 hours earlier than Ms Tabia Princewill wrote
      her fabricated opinion. Madame Lagarde once again described Nigeria as a country
      she saw last week, first hand, “in a severe economic crisis” where investment, debt,
      and expenditure policies are totally out of joint and in complete state of mess.

      Publishers of newspapers groaning that sales
      are dropping in Nigeria should check the quality of columnists they hire.
      Column writing is ideally to be done by highly knowledgable people with some
      un-impeachable reputation for truthfulness. Alas, Ms. Tabia Princewill does not
      fall into that category in my own view. On the very day her lies were published,
      the same newspaper – VANGUARD – was crying havoc that Naira was falling
      into a historic low of 287 Naira, which was closer to the truth, because in actual
      fact Naira has plummented to 300 to a dollar today; i.e, 150% of the official rate.

      • REDEEM

        One of those Buhari moce–no sane Woman from rivers state will write such silly article in praise of buhari and his satanic government

      • REDEEM

        one of those Buhari mice-for no sane Woman from Riovers state will write such silly article in praise of the Satanic rule of Buhari-

  • Shugaba Nkasa

    This is not a job for the health ministry.
    Like it is in the United States, this is a job for an agency dedicated to disease control, epidemics, pandemics, an poisons.

  • Burning spear

    let him Buhari take care of it the same way jonathan handled his Ebola crisis period



    • Burning spear

      are u knowing that today

    • Shugaba Nkasa

      Premium Times is doing everything to support Buhari? How do you mean?

      In any case, if Premium Times is doing what you say they are doing, kudos to them. Perhaps you can learn a thing or two from them.

      Election has come and gone and the majority of Nigerians chose Buhari as their President. He may not be your choice, but the will of so many Nigerians trumps your bigoted and tribalistic sentiments.

      Buhari is your president and leader of Nigeria! You should be doing everything you can to support him.

      You complain about $1 equaling N300 as if anyone can do anything about it! FYI China’s economy is contracting and it is affecting everyone in the world because of the overestimation of China’s growth.

      The Price of oil has dropped so far down that it affects the budgets of ALL countries in one way or the other. Why?
      Saudi Arabia and Iran have had a feud for as far back as anyone can remember. Recently, the crippling sanctions on Iran by the UN and western countries were lifted, giving Iran capital it needs to do what it wants.

      Saudi Arabia took the unilateral action of flooding the market with oil, dropping the price from over $120 per barrel to about $3o per barrel…just to hurt the Iranian economy.
      What can you do about it? Nothing!

      Ensure your brain is running before engaging your mouth. You are obviously a child, jumping up and down about something you don’t understand. You say you will react at the right time……react to what?

      You should walk down the road and ask the first elderly person you see to slap some sense into your coconut head.! Id10t!

      • ‘foday


        Look, let the militants do anything they want to do. If they like they can take speedboat
        to Premium Times office in America. We cannot take blind support of Buhari anymore.
        The country is falling apart. Prices of medicines are double. Nigeria does not make
        tablets to talk of syrup for asthma. Do you want me to die like this because of Buhari?
        What kind of nonsense change is this one now? I support the militants for real change!


    Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on wednesday January 13, 2016 in a commando style invaded one of the residences of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh.

    The operatives of the anti-graft agency who took over the residence located at Plot 19 Kumasi crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja declined to speak to our correspondent.

  • Papa Oghworiodo (Warri)


    When 24 states cannot pay salary, when workers did not get salary for Christmas, there will be Lassa fever.
    Very simple! You people are not doing logic when you were in school. In those days, we use logic to solve it.
    From logic now, you will see that without salary, Nigerians are going inside forests to kill animals for protein.
    They kill monkeys, baboons, crocodiles, frogs and so on, since there is no salary to buy chicken for yuletide.
    Now inside one of these bush animals is Lassa fever, especially bats, squirrels and bush rats – very common.
    If you want to solve Lassa fever you must force all governors to pay salaries latest on the 25th every month.
    Look at Kogi state, no salary for 9 months. That means Kogi state will be the headquarters of Lassa fever.

  • Archdailydotcom

    I hope this statement isn’t one of those charades that have come to epitomise this inept govt. With all the available resources diverted into fighting corruption with no convictions in sight, I just wonder if this govt has the wherewithal to nip this menacing epidemic in the bud.

  • Quirkycox2016


    Naira falls to lowest point ever

    The Naira depreciated further to a 43-year low at N305 per dollar

    as scarcity of dollars intensified in the unofficial market. From an

    average of N287 per dollar on Tuesday, the parallel market

    exchange rate rose to an average of N305 per dollar

    across the country.

    • Burning Spear

      Who is the president of Nigeria–is it Jonathan still or Buhari–? Is that not the Buhari who said he will—make the dollar be at par with the Naira—‘ Did Nigerians not belive that fake Fulani General? Sadly Nigerians refused to listen to the voice of wisdom- and allowed the USA impose monsters like Buhari on us—who has no regard for the rule of law—Now going about with Native doctors from the south west–to predict a bright future for opec——–9ja is doomed now that the Apes in APC are in power-it is stealing unlimited–then use the media to silence the oppotition as they did to Metuh

  • dasuki

    Lassa fever was caused by Dasuki and Tomoplo—-ati the former NIMASA boss Akpos, who was beaten to a state of stupor by the Buhari Gestapo