The Oyo State Government says four deaths, including three healtcare workers, were recorded out of the 19 confirmed cases of Lassa fever outbreak in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Bode Ladipo, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ibadan.
Mr Ladipo said that of the 19 confirmed cases were two medical doctors and one other health worker, who succumbed to the deadly virus.
The Oyo State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association had earlier said that it had lost two of its members to the outbreak within 72 hours.
“I am here today to address the unfortunate incidence of the death of health workers of a private health facility in the state from Lassa fever.
“Four health workers were admitted into the treatment centre in the early days of the week.
“Upon diagnostic investigations, all four were confirmed positive for Lassa fever.
“Unfortunately, three of them consisting of two doctors and another hospital staff died in spite of all efforts at caring for them by experts,” he said.
Mr Ladipo said that resources had been deployed to designated health facilities to forestall the spread of the deadly disease across the state.
“Surveillance activities have been heightened at the grassroots across the state, while access to care has been provided to all individuals at risk of this disease,” he said.
The commissioner urged residents of the state to remain calm and not panic while ensuring strict adherence to preventive measures.
Mr Ladipo also advised individuals having symptoms such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, generalised body weakness, chest pain, back pain, cough, diarrhea, swollen face, eyes or neck, stomach pain or bleeding from ear, eyes, nose, mouth, or any other body openings to report promptly to the nearest health facility.
He said that people showing the above symptoms could also call the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on 08095394000 or 08095863000.
Mr Ladipo advised all residents to avoid contact with rats, contaminated food items by rat faeces, urine and other body fluid.
“The virus causing this disease is transmitted from infected rats to humans or an infected human to other humans,” the commissioner said.
Mr Ladipo also advised all healthcare facilities across the state to maintain a high index of suspicion and report all suspected cases to the Local Government Area or State Health Authorities.
He said the provision of qualitative healthcare was a joint responsibility of all.
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