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Lassa fever claims 14 lives in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi State Ministry of Health on Wednesday said 14 deaths have been recorded out of about 110 suspected cases of Lassa fever recently recorded in the state.

Dr Hyacinth Ebenyi, the Director of Public Health at the ministry, gave the figure in an interview with the newsmen in Abakaliki.

He said that the 14 cases were among the 29 confirmed cases of the disease recorded as at Feb. 20.

Ebenyi expressed concern that no fewer than 110 suspected cases of the disease were recently recorded in the state.

“Yes, there has been an increase in the cases of Lassa fever. The disease is really an endemic in the state.

“It did not just start, it has been here, most times, during the dry season.

“So far, we have had suspected cases of 110, and out of this figure, we recorded 29 confirmed cases.

” Out of 29 cases, as of Tuesday, we lost 14 persons,” the director said.

He, however, called on the citizenry not to panic, giving the assurance that the state government was making efforts to stem the tide of the disease.

Ebenyi advised the state residents to be cautious about eating rats and making contact with their fluids.

” Lassa fever is a killer-disease. People should stop eating rats. Do not allow it to have any contact with your food,” the director said.

He listed the symptoms of the disease to include high fever, general body weakness, and headaches.

“These signs progress within a short time, and if nothing is done, the affected person will start to bleed from the body openings until it affects the important organs of the body, and next will be death.

” Affected persons should go to hospital for treatment immediately,” he said

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