Be Alert: How Lassa Fever Killed Young Doctor Doing His Housemanship in Kogi State

Following the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country, a young Doctor, Dr. A.V Idowu, doing his housemanship in Kogi State has been killed by the disease.

Nigerian doctors have taken to social media to mourn their colleague. Twitter user, Dr. Igwe Emeka, who confirmed the death of Dr. Idowu, tweeted;

”Just lost a colleague and a dear friend @AVIDowu to Lassa fever today. Am gutted, tired and sad. Can’t take this anymore.

After so many years of medical school, after months of searching for housemanship placement, after years of toiling, Lassa fever took this promising young Doctor away. This is unbelievable. What a country @AVIDowu.”

However, another Twitter user @Sharpval, who reacted to the death of Dr Idowu, accused the hospital management of killing the Doctor as they refused to provide doctors with ribivarin prophylaxis.

READ ALSO: How Lassa Fever Killed Nursing Student in Anambra

He tweeted;

It’s not worth it. Victor is gone. It’s not fucking worth it. Provide simple basic amenities no. Every day people put their lives on the line for this fucking shit hole.

Ribivarin prophylaxis could have gone a long way. There were reports of lassa fever and doctors weren’t provided with ribivarin prophylaxis. You people killed victor.

Remember that people are siphoning funds meant to provide basics in these hospitals Today they killed Victor.

The worst part is Victor will die for nothing. Lassa fever is spreading and killing people. What has the minister of health said? He is silent.

Ordinary talk he hasn’t said anything But when Buhari’s had a bike accident he ran to give conference.

I pray someone actually takes lassa fever into aso rock. Maybe just maybe then they will act.”

READ ALSO: LASSA FEVER: Medical & Health Workers Union Warns Against Consuming Soaked Garri

A few days ago, the death toll of victims of the Lassa fever outbreak in Ebonyi State, rose to 4 as confirmed by an official.

The Commissioner for Health, Daniel Umezuruike, also said 139 persons have been placed under surveillance in the state.

It was gathered that three health workers died from the infection. Also schools have been shut down in the state as government scrambles to curtail the rampaging deadly disease (read here).

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa. The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

Signs and symptoms of Lassa Fever

This typically occur 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. For the majority of Lassa fever virus infections (approximately 80%), symptoms are mild and are undiagnosed.

Mild symptoms include: slight fever, general malaise and weakness, and headache.

Severe symptoms include: hemorrhaging (in gums, eyes, or nose, as examples), respiratory distress, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and shock.

Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis. Death may occur within two weeks after symptom onset due to multi-organ failure.

Prevention

1. Primary transmission of the Lassa virus from its host to humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents, especially in the geographic regions where outbreaks occur.

2. Putting food away in rodent-proof containers and keeping the home clean help to discourage rodents from entering homes.

3. Do not eat these rodents as food.

4. Setting traps in and around homes can help reduce rodent populations.

5. Educating people who live in high-risk areas, so be sure to share this.

6. Practise good personal hygiene. Wash hands with soap and water and use sanitisers.

7. Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.

8. Disposing of garbage far from the home as this attracts rats.

9.  Maintaining a very clean household.

10. Avoiding contact with an infected person.

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“Be Alert: How Lassa Fever Killed Young Doctor Doing His Housemanship in Kogi State”

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