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Lassa fever kills doctor and one other in Benue

Two people, one of them a medical doctor identified as Samuel Nyityo, have died of Lassa fever in Benue State.

The other person is said to be in a stable condition.

The medical doctor, who was working with the World Health Organisation, was diagnosed with Lassa fever and was rushed to Irrua in Edo State, where he died on Sunday.

It could not be ascertained how the medical doctor contracted the disease, but a source hinted that two of his neighbours had Lassa fever in December.

The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Prof Joseph Ngbea, told newsmen that only the medical doctor had been confirmed dead from Lassa fever.

The commissioner, who spoke to newsmen on the telephone said, “The medical doctor was diagnosed with Lassa fever a few days ago and when there was no dialysis at the teaching hospital, we quickly sent him to Irrua in Edo State, where he died on Sunday.”

Ngbea said another patient was in a stable condition, adding that the deceased worked with the WHO in Benue State.

The commissioner stated that the government had begun contact tracing of those who likely had contact with the victims.

“We have also procured drugs worth N600,000; the emergency unit has come out with an action plan and have been mobilised to go into the houses of the two persons to get those who had contact with them as well as to find out whether there are rodents there,” the commissioner said.

He added that the state government would soon organise a workshop on Lassa fever to create more awareness on why people should not keep anything that would attract rodents into their homes.

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