The new Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, during the weekend in Asaba, disclosed that up to Twenty-four persons have been placed under surveillance while active case search and contact tracing is ongoing to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in Delta State. Re-emergence of the disease in the state on January 26 this year, there had been seven recorded confirmed cases with three deaths out of which two are from neighbouring Anambra State and one from Delta State. Ononye implored residents not to panic as the Ministry of Health through its rapid response team is on top of the situation and had been co-ordinating the state’s response to contain the spread of the disease. The commissioner explained that efforts so far put in place to contain the spread of the disease include the use of the ministry’s ambulance to convey patients to Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State and thereafter disinfect same, and procurement of some Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), which had been distributed to health facilities across the state, including the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.He added that there had also been sensitisation of health workers in the state to have a high index of suspicion and that the ministry, in collaboration with the State Primary Health Development Agency, is creating awareness through the various mass media to enlighten the public on how the disease is transmitted and take preventive measures to forestall its spread. He, therefore, advised members of the public to report any suspected case to the nearest health facility or call 07037120510 or 08168741415. Also in Abia State, the Health Commissioner, Dr. John Ahukannah, has asserted that there has been no case of Lassa fever in the state as of yesterday. The commissioner, who was reacting to a published news report that he gave the wrong state of Lassa fever in the state, stated that the correct situation is that there had been seven suspected cases of the disease. He said four of those suspected tested negative, one died but the test sample came back negative while the other two did not meet the case definition for Lassa fever and had since been discharged, well and alive.” Also, the Edo State Government has said that it had so far recorded 45 cases of Lassa fever in the state. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, disclosed this shortly after a press briefing on a successful stem cell transplant carried out by a private hospital, Celltek Healthcare Medical Centre, in collaboration with the pioneer of stem cell transplantation in sub-Sahara Africa, Prof. Bazuaye and other transplantologists in Benin City, the Edo State capital. Osifo said that the recorded cases were being treated at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) in the state. In another development, ZL Global Alliance (Nigeria) Limited (ZLGA) says it has embarked on fumigation of markets, hospitals and other public places to curb the spread of Lassa fever and other diseases in Ondo State. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Dr. Abiola Bashorun, who disclosed this to newsmen, said the fumigation, which started in Owo, would be subsequently taken to other areas.

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