Panic as Lassa Fever Kills Pregnant Woman in Cross River State

The Cross River State Government has confirmed four suspected cases of the dreadful Lassa Fever disease in the State, with one of the patients who is a pregnant woman, dead.

An unidentified pregnant woman is suspected to have died as a result of the virus at the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital in Cross River State, UCTH, Punch reports.

The woman, who was transferred from the Navy Hospital in Calabar to UCTH, was said to have come into the state from Taraba State.

Although, a hospital source denied that the woman died of Lassa fever, it was learnt that samples had been sent to a laboratory to ascertain whether it was Lassa fever that killed her.

READ ALSO: LASSA FEVER ALERT! Pregnant Woman & One Confirmed Dead, 100 LUTH Staff Under Surveillance

Meanwhile, the death caused panic at the Navy Hospital and the UCTH as patients and workers were sighted discussing the matter in hushed tones.

Confirming the incident, Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong who spoke to newsmen said that the deceased had to be transferred to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital following her critical state before she finally died.

“The late pregnant woman was transferred from the neighbouring Taraba State. She was first admitted to the Navy Hospital in Calabar before she was later moved to the Intensive Care Unit of the UCTH when her situation became critical. She eventually died of a suspected case of Lassa fever.”

She explained that a sample of her blood had been taken for proper diagnosis, stressing that measures had been put in place to avoid spread.

READ ALSO: Ebonyi State Shuts Down Schools As Lassa Fever Outbreak Kills Two in the State

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.

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


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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“Panic as Lassa Fever Kills Pregnant Woman in Cross River State”

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