Scare Of Lassa Fever Looms In UNIJOS

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The University of Jos community has been thrown into confusion following the reported diagnosis of a student with the dreaded Lassa fever disease.

The student is the second victim in Plateau State out of the five recently isolated in four states by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control. Other states where the presence of the disease has been reported are Bauchi, Gombe and Rivers.

The second victim in Plateau State is said to be a Fulani woman nomad from the village of Shanon in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Our correspondent learnt that both patients were admitted at the Jos University Teaching Hospital for treatment after they were isolated by the Epidemiology Unit of the state Ministry of Health.

It was further gathered that while the student had been treated and discharged the woman was still on admission in JUTH.

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Officials of the epidemiology unit were said to have carried out a disinfection exercise in the university community while also counselling the students and members of the community on precautionary measures.

An official of the health ministry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, told our correspondent on Sunday that the situation had been brought under control.

He added that officers from the NCDC, Abuja, had visited the state to carry out an on the spot assessment of the situation in the state.

The official added that the ministry had received assurances from the state government that everything would be put in place to ensure that the disease did not spread to other parts of the state.

According to the official, the early detection of the disease made it possible for it to be handled and contained before it could spread to other areas.

He added that the two patients survived because the illness was reported early.

The Assistant Registrar, Information and Protocol of the university, Mr. Abdullahi Abdullahi, told our correspondent that the JUTH authorities had yet to communicate the incident to the university.

He added, however, that on the strength of the information available to the university, it was ready to cooperate with health officials to contain the spread of the epidemic.

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