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Lassa fever claims 14 in Ebonyi

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The Ebonyi State Ministry of Health has said that Lassa fever had killed 14 people in the state.

The Director of Public Health at the Ministry, Dr Hyacinth Ebenyi, gave the figure in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Abakaliki.

Ebenyi said that the 14 cases were among the 29 confirmed cases of the disease recorded as at Feb. 20.

He expressed concern that no fewer than 110 suspected cases of the disease were recently recorded in the state.

“Yes, there has been an increase in the cases of lassa fever. The disease is really endemic in the state.

“It did not just start, it has been here, most times, during the dry season.

“So far, we have had suspected cases of 110, and out of this figure, we recorded 29 confirmed cases.

“Out of 29 cases, as of Tuesday, we lost 14 persons,” the director said.

He, however, urged the citizenry not to panic, giving the assurance that the state government was making efforts to stem the tide of the disease, advising the state residents to be cautious about eating rats and making contact with their fluids.

“Lassa fever is a killer-disease. People should stop eating rat. Do not allow it to have any contact with your food,” the director said.

He listed the symptoms of the disease to include high fever, general body weakness and headaches.

“These signs progress within a short time, and if nothing is done, the affected person will start to bleed from the body openings until it affects the important organs of the body, and next will be death.

“Affected persons should go to hospital for treatment immediately,” he said.