Lassa fever spreads in Enugu State as no fewer than two other suspected Lassa fever patients have been quarantined in two local government areas of Enugu state following the outbreak of the duseaed in the state.

However, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin said “There is no new confirmed cases of Lassa fever in Enugu State.

“All contacts of the index case are being monitored and this will last for 21 days. Currently, some people have exited the monitoring period.”

However, a reliable source informed Vanguard that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has quarantined the two new suspected patients at an isolation centre in the state, while their family members have been restricted in their houses for 21 days.

It was learnt that the affected persons were from a community in Udi and another community in Nkanu East local government areas of the state.

The source which pleaded anonymity said, “NCDC has taken custody of the patients and their family members quarantined under close observations in a communities in Udi and another in Nkanu East.

“One of those family members quarantined resides in Lagos and insisted that he goes back to Lagos, but he yielded to the NCDC’s plea to stay back within the 21-day observatory period. He, among other people are being taken care of while treatment is being administered on the patients.”

Lassa fever is a highly contagious disease occuring especially in West Africa, resident virus is usually found in a rodent known as the ‘multimammate rat.’ Humans can become easily affected by eating this infected rat or by eating food contaminated by the rat’s excretions. Person-to-person transmission also occurs via direct contact, contamination of skin breaks with infected blood, and aerosol spreads (virus particles moving through the air). The first symptoms typically occur 1 to 3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus and may include high fever, sore throat, cough, eye inflammation (conjunctivitis), facial swelling, pain behind the breastbone, back pain, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and general weakness that lasts for several days. The antiviral drug ribavirin is used for treatment along with supportive care.

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