Saturday, 17 May 2014

Doctors Contract Deadly Virus after Operating a Pregnant Woman Killed by the Virus in Ebonyi State

No fewer than eight doctors, four nurses and five health workers were, yesterday, feared to have contracted Lassa fever after they participated in operating a pregnant woman at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, FETHA. The pregnant woman and her baby (names withheld) who later died few days after they were discharged from the hospital, were suspected to have died of the deadly disease.

SunNews reports that at a press conference, the state Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Chidi Esike, stated that the affected medical personnel had been moved to Specialist
Hospital, Irrua, in Edo State for diagnosis and immediate medical attention.

According to him, the refusal of the Federal Government to provide a virology centre in the South East geopolitical zone of the country, in the face of overwhelming evidence of the need for such facility, had threatened the gains in the health sector.Continue...
 He said:

“The sad aspect of this whole saga is that since all these times that this woman and her child were managed with several doctors, nurses and all kinds of health workers exposed to the risk of the deadly Lassa fever virus, we are still suspecting that we have cases of Lassa fever in our land. 
It is not sheer insensitivity to the plight of not just the medical doctors, but also other health workers in Ebonyi State that today, 15th May, 2014, 17 health workers in the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki are suspected to be affected by Lassa fever; out of this number, we have eight doctors, four nurses, seven others have been rushed to Edo State for treatment. 
As we alert our people and health workers about the presence and dangers of Lassa fever, they should take all necessary steps including covering their food properly to avoid contact with rats, preventing rats from entering their houses, avoiding the eating of rat meat in order to prevent Lassa fever. 
In 2005, we lost 5 nurses who died of Lassa fever contracted in the cause of their duty. In 2008, we had 6 cases and 2 doctors died in the cause of treating them. In 2011 we had 7 cases and 2 deaths. In 2012, they were 20 cases with 6 deaths. In 2013, they were 21 cases with 8 deaths. In 2014, we have had so far 18 cases and 2 deaths”

Lassa fever is a hemorrhagic fever just like Ebola fever and percentage rate of fatality is actually high.

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