Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa Fever

Kogi State Records Case Of Lassa FeverThe Kogi State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Lokoja, the state’s capital in North-central Nigeria.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, who confirmed this to Channels Television, said the affected patient was diagnosed after returning from a trip outside the state.

He explained that the patient was rushed to the emergency unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja after he was discovered to show signs and symptoms indicating haemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Audu said the patient was eventually transferred to the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua in Edo State for optimal care.

“The confirmation was done after a patient who is a resident in Old Market area in Lokoja reported at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja with signs and symptoms suggestive of haemorrhagic fever.

“The state epidemiologists immediately responded by sending the patient’s blood sample to the designated laboratory at the Federal Specialist Hospital, Irrua, Edo State for analysis which came back positive for Lassa fever,” he said.

The Commissioner noted that following a meeting with the State Rapid Response Team, provisions were made for contact tracing and prophylactic treatment for medical personnel who had contact with the patient.

“All these have been concluded as all those who have had contact with the patient are currently being monitored.

“It is important to note that the patient had travelled to Ilorin, Kwara State where he stayed for two weeks; he only developed symptoms of haemorrhagic fever two days after his return,” he added.

Dr. Audu stated that since the incubation period for Lassa fever is between six to 21 days, the State Government cannot completely say it has curtailed the menace.

He, however, said that they have put in place measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria between August 2015 and May 2016.

The organisation added that 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing.

How Suntai’s plane crashed – Eyewitness account

The People of Namtari village; a suburb of Yola the capital of Adamawa state, who were the first eye witnesses to arrive the scene of the Plane crash involving the Taraba state governor Danbaba Suntai who has now been flown to Germany for better medical attention from the National hospital Abuja where he was initially receiving care, gave their account of how the crash happened.

Our correspondent who visited the village of Namtari got a firsthand account from eyewitnesses.

The witnesses who initially declined comment on the ground that the incident involved high personalities told Channels Television that four occupants were in the flight and not six as widely reported.

Both Abubakar Bamanga and Umar Hamajoda who spoke to us in Hausa language said the plane was coming normally like any other aircraft, suddenly the sound changed and that was followed by an immediate U-turn giving all signs that the plane was going to crash, as it eventually did in a very familiar farm behind the NNPC depot.

As they heard the sound of the crash, they picked their touch lights as it was already getting dark and they ran to the scene of the crash.

On arrival, one of the occupants was already out of the aircraft and crying for help as he asked them to hasten up the rescue because three others including the Taraba state Governor were still inside the plane for fear of possible fire outbreak.

They however confirm that the governor was the last to be rescued because it took them time to locate his whereabout as he was equally trapped under the now wrecked plane and being held down by the seatbelt.

“The plane was passing and suddenly we heard an unusual sound then we saw it made a u turn and began to crash, and as we got to the scene, I was holding touch light while others were carrying out the rescue. It was a terrible experience. The governor was the last to be rescued” Abubakar Bamanga said.

At the crash site, crops such as beans and Maize plantation of almost 150 metres long were destroyed after the aircraft had crashed on trees within the farm.

The Farmer whose crops were destroyed, Mr. Zirrah Koji who was at the crash site during our visit also prayed for the speedy recovery of the victims while soliciting for assistance towards some compensation.

Efforts to get the version of the airport authority on the rescue carried out or what actually led to the crashed failed as they declined comment.

Similarly, efforts to interview the victims who were said to be receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre Yola proved abortive as we were barred from knowing their conditions.

Hospital source who pleaded anonymity told Channels television that two of the victims were in stable condition while the other is still laying critical at the accident and emergency unit of the clinic as the governor had already been moved to the National Hospital; Abuja may flown out of the country for extended treatment.