At least 16 people have so far died in a fresh outbreak of Lassa Fever in Ondo State, the state government has confirmed. It also confirmed that about 84 cases have also been recorded since the beginning of the year.
The governor, Rotimi Akuredolu, and the heads of relevant agencies met on Tuesday to review the situation which blew open at the weekend, as medical personnel struggled to grapple with the challenge.
Officials said that medical facilities at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, and other facilities in Akure, the state capital were already overstretched.
So far, three local government areas have been affected. They include Akoko South West, Akure South, Ondo West, and Owo local governments.
The state epidemiologist, Steven Fagbemi, gave the detailed breakdown of the situation after the meeting with the governor.
The meeting also involved Local Government Chairmen from Ondo North and Central Senatorial Districts at the governors office in Akure.
Fagbemi said the fatalities were due to the fact that the cases had reached advanced stages before they were brought to the hospitals. He said 47 patients were on admission and were responding to treatment, while 21 persons had already been treated and discharged.
The head of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Yahaya Disu, explained that the Lassa fever cases were recorded in Owo, Akoko South West, Akure South, and Ondo West Local Government Areas.
The Commissioner for Health, Wahab Adegbenro, also advised Nigerians to visit hospitals when they noticed fever symptoms.
Earlier, Akeredolu advised local government chairmen in the state to deploy cleaners to markets and public places, while residents should maintain high level of hygiene to curtail the spread of the Lassa virus in the state.