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Lassa Fever Kills One in Plateau State

A student of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Lantang, Plateau, Faith Tanko, has been confirmed dead following fresh outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

Saturday Punch learnt that out of four students tested for the disease, the results of three were positive.

The victim was buried on Friday after a church service held at the Catholic Church of Annunciation in the Tundun-Wada area of Jos, the capital.

To check the spread of the disease and more deaths, the state government said it would dispatch a team of doctors to Lantang community and place those who came in contact with them including medical workers, who attended to them at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, under 21 days surveillance.

Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Kamshak Kudeng, confirmed the fresh outbreak of the disease in an interview with Saturday Punch yesterday.

He said, “What happened was that four of the students were brought to JUTH on Wednesday. We suspected that it was possibly a case of Lassa fever and we sent our people to go and take blood samples which they took to Lagos.  When the results came back, all of them, except one tested positive for Lassa fever.

“Unfortunately, we lost one of them. We have also gone to JUTH to see the other people that were on admission. We have also held a meeting with the JUTH authorities and the principal of the FGGC, Lantang. The students are on mid-term break, so we asked that the resumption should be delayed by one or two weeks, pending when we have completed the 21-day observation of these children.

“We also asked them to send text messages to parents in case any of their children are developing signs of fever or bleeding from any part of the body. They were advised to take the person to the hospital and not a pharmacy.”

Kudeng said the Plateau State Government had a line of communication with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control so as to give daily reports on the disease.

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