The Benue State Government, Thursday, confirmed that two pregnant women and one other person have died in Makurdi as a result of outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.
The Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Cecilia Ojabo, who disclosed this to newsmen in Makurdi, Benue State, said one of the pregnant women was confirmed positive after her blood sample was taken and sent to a specialist hospital at Irua in Edo State.
She said the patient had commenced treatment for Lassa fever at the designated centre located at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi; but along the line, the woman died.
“There was another instance of a young man who is a native of Benue State and confirmed with a case of Lassa fever. He died in Lagos State.”
“We were duly informed about his death and the corpse was thereafter returned to Benue State for burial.
“We sent our public health workers to supervise the ceremony when he was brought to the state for burial,” she stated.
Mrs. Ojoba further disclosed that a young man from Guma LGA of the state presented very late symptoms of Lassa fever, and his presentation was that he was bleeding from the nose, ears and mouth.
According to her, the victim was admitted at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital but before doctors could obtain his blood sample for the test at Irua, he died at the hospital.
She revealed that the second pregnant woman died on Thursday morning (today) after she had displayed symptoms of the disease.
“Just this morning, I got a report from the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, that another suspected case of Lassa fever was recorded and they were advised to take the patient to infection unit in the Teaching Hospital in the ambulance.
“On the way to the hospital, the patient died. She was pregnant,” Ojabo stated.
The commissioner, however, stated that seven persons who are close relatives of the victims have been placed under surveillance
Ojabo maintained that presently, there is no patient in the Teaching Hospital zone.