NIGERIA. Gombe State: In Gombe State, northeastern Nigeria, at least eight people have been confirmed dead, 20 others have tested positive for Lassa fever, and 225 people have been tested.
Dr. Nuhu Bile, an epidemiologist with the State Ministry of Health, told reporters in Gombe that 225 people had been tested so far, with 20 of them being confirmed positive and ten others being treated and discharged.
Two more confirmed cases are still being treated by doctors, according to Bile, and eight others are still waiting to hear their fate.
“Balanga, Funakaye, Kwami, Kaltungo, Nafada, and Gombe are among the six local government areas (LGAs) where cases have been reported.
According to reports, the Dogonruwa community in Kaltungo LGA is the LGA with the highest number of victims,” Bile said.
Bile, who highlighted that the first Lassa Fever case was reported on February 10 of this year, demanded that the state administration put in place the necessary mechanisms to assist curb the spread of the feared illness.
According to Bile, the virus has a 21-day incubation period, which is always multiplied by two to give a total of 42 days. While waiting for the 42-day incubation period to expire, the ministry received a report that five Almajiris (Madrassa pupils) in the area died within nine days of developing Lassa Fever symptoms.
“However, the state medical team has deployed to continue testing, and as a result, 20 instances have been confirmed,” Bile stated.
As a result, it has been determined that the state and its community require immediate attention, such as social mobilization through community assistance to prevent the disease from spreading further, as some of the communities have been recognized as high-risk locations for the virus.
“The sickness has primarily afflicted farmers who keep their agricultural manure from animal waste at home, making their surroundings vulnerable to the virus due to the presence of rats and other animals,” Bile stated.
Bile has cautioned the people to maintain their surroundings clean at all times, as this helps to keep rats and other Lassa fever-transmitted habitats at bay.