No less than 11 persons have died of Lassa Fever in Edo State in the latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic disease with about 45 confirmed cases recorded in the State.
The disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, at a press briefing to announce a successful stem cell transplant carried out by a private hospital, Celltek Healthcare Medical Centre, in Benin, the State capital.
Osifo further revealed that the recorded cases were receiving treatment at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
He said: “In terms of the State, there are about 45 confirmed cases from Edo State. At the initial stage during the outbreak, a lot of people were not aware and so, awareness was a problem.
“And so, many people who had Lassa fever took it for malaria fever. So, the thing (disease) was spreading rapidly.
“When we heard the call from ISTH that there was an epidemic, I paid an on-the-spot visit to assess the situation of things. I discovered that within a period of one month, 11 patients died of Lassa fever and that was very disturbing to us.”
The Commissioner blamed the casualty figure on inadequate facilities to manage of the high number of patients undergoing treatment in the Hospital.
He continued: “The reason they (patients) were dying was that it [ISTH] used to have two dialysis machines and one of them broke down and it was left with one.
“That one was overworked, so the effectiveness was not as good. So, the Edo State Government purchased two additional dialysis machines that are saving lives now.”
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