Following the outbreak of Lassa fever across the country, Ebonyi State government says so far, the state has recorded five suspected cases.
The state Epidemiologist, Dr. Francis Onwe who disclosed this to newsmen in Abakaliki on Tuesday explained that the first case who is a health worker was confirmed to be negative after laboratory test.
But blood samples of the four new suspected cases have been taken to National Lassa fever research Centre Iruwa in Edo state for laboratory diagnoses and the results were being awaited,according to Dr. Onwe.
“So, for now, Ebonyi state does not have any case of Lassa fever;what we have are suspected cases”,he added.
Nigerian Pilot reports that as at the time of filing this report there was panic among residents of the state as the results of the four new cases were being awaited.
He said,”Lassa fever presents itself like other diseases. So, you cannot use clinical symptoms to conclude that a person has the infection.
“All of them are suspected cases and by the time result is out and if all of them are negative, then, we shift from suspected case to no case at all but if any of them prove negative, we will report accordingly”.
Dr. Onwe said the reference centre for special diseases in the state was well prepared should there be any record of the disease in the state.
“Lassa fever is not a big deal if dictated on time. We have isolation ward, enough manpower and free drugs here provided by federal ministry of health. It is unlike Ebola that has no drug and people are scared”, he assured.
When contacted, the commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Daniel Umezurike who said he was in Abuja to attend an emergency meeting following the Lassa fever outbreak said there was no confirmed case yet.
But he admitted there were suspected cases currently undergoing laboratory analysis and assured that the result would soon be out.

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