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Lassa fever claims 63 lives, spread to 17 states – Minister of Health says

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The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, says the Lassa fever epidemic has claimed 63 lives out of 212 reported from 62 local government areas in affected states. Speaking ‎at the emergency National Council of Health meeting in Abuja yesterday January 19th, The Minister listed the 17 affected states as Bauchi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Nasarawa, Lagos, Delta, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Kogi as well as the FCT.

He said there is high level of denial and conspiracy across some states and appealed to health managers to stop the trend of being silent and deceiving their state government. He described the denial of Ebonyi to report five suspected cases and one death as conspiracy of denial.

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Adewole added that intensive efforts are being made to stop the spread of the deadly virus. He announced that six of the most affected states will have Lassa fever diagnostic centres. They are Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi and Ondo states.

This is in addition to the six existing Lassa fever treatment centres namely Irrua, Edo; University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, Borno; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), University College Hospital Ibadan, and the National Centre for Disease Control, Asokoro, Abuja.

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