Lassa fever Epidemic breaks in Ondo State, five cases confirmed

Five Persons have been confirmed to have Lassa fever  in Ondo State now hospitalized for being infected with the disease.

The reports emerged three weeks of a student of Achievers University, Owo, infected with the disease and hospitalised at the Federal Medical Centre in Owo.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that as soon as the student was confirmed as having the disease, parents and students of the institution pestered the management to take a drastic measure to ensure the safety of students.

According to sources at the school, the anxiety was getting out of control, leading the management to declare a three weeks mid-semester break for the students.

Officials at the Ondo State Ministry of Health confirmed the development, saying five persons have so far been diagnosed with the disease in the state.

The Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Health, Taye Oni, told journalists in Akure that two cases were recorded in Owo Local Government Area and two in Akoko North-West Local Government Area.

These are in addition to the case of the student of the Achievers University, who was earlier diagnosed with the disease.

“Government is doing its best to contain the recorded cases by isolating the patients to prevent further spread,” Mr. Oni said.

“We also embarked on aggressive contact tracing, sensitisation of the people not just in Owo and Ose but across the state on preventing and precautionary measures.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the Vice Chancellor of Achievers University, Tunji Ibiyemi, said the student who was infected with the disease did not get it from within the campus, but outside.

He blamed inflammatory media reports for the anxiety that trailed the incident, saying the student had since been undergoing treatment and would soon be discharged from the hospital.

“The Management of Achievers University, Owo takes the overall well-being of its staff and students seriously. Nothing is, therefore, spared to ensure this. Apart from the University health centre, which is empowered to cater for the health of students and staff promptly, the University has a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, to which staff and students are referred when the need arises,” the Mr. Ibiyemi explained.

“For a fact, a student of the University reported at the University health centre for treatment. However, she was not responding to treatment, and as usual, had to be referred to the FMC, where she was diagnosed of having Lassa fever symptoms. She has since stabilised, and will be discharged anytime soon.

“Investigation carried out by the University revealed that the affected student must have contracted the disease from outside the university premises as none of her roommates and friends, who have been screened, developed symptoms of the ailment.

“So, what we have in the university is an isolated case of Lassa fever, not an outbreak as being rumoured.”

He said to allay the fears of the parents who had heard the rumour and had been calling the university to ascertain its veracity, the school’s management had decided to give the students a three-week mid-semester break as from June 20.

“This will afford the agitated parents to see their children and rest assured that they are safe and sound,” the vice chancellor.

“The break will also enable the university to carry out necessary precaution measures before the students resume on Sunday, 9th July, 2017.

Source: ( Premium Times )

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