The government of Imo state has confirmed that two residents in the state’s capital city of Owerri. State Health Commissioner, Dr. Angela Uwakwem, announced that with the confirmation, Lassa fever has resurfaced in the state.
“Lassa fever is in Owerri. It is confirmed,” Uwakwem said.
The commissioner added that there are seven suspected cases of Lassa fever. Two are confirmed.
The government’s official account was that the two persons died of the virus after they were “referred out of” the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri. This debunked speculations that the victims died in FMC, Owerri.
“The Imo State Government is working hard to establish the point of first contact. The media should also help us to enlighten our people. People should stop unnecessary shaking of hands. People should also stop eating exposed foods. The virus is caused by rats, so people should be encouraged to make use of rat poison in their homes,” the commissioner said.
Also confirming the development, the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Dr. Kingsley Achigbu, toldThe PUNCHthat two victims were referred to the hospital.
According to him, the Lassa fever victims who were referred to FMC from another hospital were later “referred out.”