Kaduna state confirms one case of Lassa fever

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An ecologist extracts a sample of blood from a Mastomys Natalensis rodent in the village of Jormu in southeastern Sierra Leone February 8, 2011. Lassa fever, named after the Nigerian town where it was first identified in 1969, is among a U.S. list of "category A" diseases -- deemed to have the potential for major public health impact -- alongside anthrax and botulism. The disease is carried by the Mastomys Natalensis rodent, found across sub-Saharan Africa and often eaten as a source of protein. It infects an estimated 300,000-500,000 people each year, and kills about 5,000. Picture taken February 8, 2011. To match Reuters-Feature BIOTERROR-AFRICA/ REUTERS/Simon Akam (SIERRA LEONE - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY ANIMALS) - GM1E72F07HC01

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Kaduna state confirms one case of Lassa fever

Kaduna State government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Chukun local government area but said that the patient is being treated at the designated Infectious Disease Control Centre.

A statement signed by the Commissioner of Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni on Saturday said that tests have confirmed that the patient is a 36-year-old male.

The commissioner has assured that the Ministry of Health has supplied the ‘’infectious diseases control centre with the necessary commodities and our health personnel are ready to manage any cases that may arise.”

‘’The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on alert for prompt referral of suspected cases,’’ Dr Mohammed-Baloni further assured.

The commissioner also reiterated the ministry’s earlier appeal to the public ‘’to maintain the highest standard of individual hygiene and to report any suspected cases promptly to the nearest health facility.’’

“We wish to appeal to members of the public to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, keep food in proper storage and to remain vigilant to report suspected cases to the relevant authorities.

“Suspected cases should be reported to the State Epidemiology unit on 08036045755 or 08027396344 or contact the nearest Local Government Health Authority official,’’ Dr Mohammed-Baloni added.

The statement further stated that all Kaduna State Government health facilities are on alert to look out for cases of the disease.

“Let us all work together to keep our state safe and make early reports to enable prompt treatment for patients who contact this highly infectious disease,’’ the commissioner appealed.

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