There was trepidation, Monday among residents of Calabar, the Cross River State capital over reported case of Lassa fever at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH. Findings by Vanguard showed that at the weekend, two patients were admitted separately into accident and emergency unit of UCTH as they showed unusual symptoms of sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle pains which are associated with Lassa fever.
NAN further gathered that the doctors on duty collected the samples and reported the case to the management who immediately took it to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital at Ekpoma, Edo state, for analysis. An impeccable source at the hospital who pleaded anonymity said the management was not treating the case with kid gloves as they have taken precautionary measures to protect the doctors and other health workers just as they have fumigated some departments in the institution.
However, some residents, who have patients, relations at the hospital, were panicking with regard to the faith of their dear ones amidst reported case of Lassa fever. Vanguard learned that fear has also gripped some patients at the hospital and they are said to be making alternative arrangements for fear of being contaminated. In a telephone chat with the Chief Medical Director, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme, he said a patient was admitted and they needed to be sure adding that samples have been sent to Centre for Disease Control and Research in Edo state. “A patient was admitted and to be sure of what type of ailment we took the sample and have taken it to the laboratory for proper analysis.
“So we can not confirm whether it is Lassa fever or not until we get the results back. So we are still expecting it,” he said. In a press statement issued on at the weekend in Calabar, the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, said there is no confirmed case of Lassa Fever in the state and members of the public should not panic. Edu rather advised that residents in the state should observe strict preventive measures to forestall Lassa fever outbreak in the state. According to her, the ministry has intensified emergency preparedness and response to the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in the country.
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