Lassa fever epidemic spreads to Ondo State

Achievers university, Owo

ONDO state government has confirmed five cases of Lassa fever in the state. One of the cases was reported in Achiever University in Owo, where a female student was diagnosed with the symptoms but had since been stabilised and discharged from the Federal Medical Center, Owo.

Confirming the outbreak, the Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, Dr Taye Oni, said that the state has stepped up surveillance in addition to other proactive measures. Dr Oni said ”To stem the tide and nip the epidemic in the board,” according to him; ”the State is collaborating with the Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, Federal Medical Center Owo and the National Centre for Infectious Disease Control, among others.

Meanwhile, the authorities of the Achievers University have sent the students home on a three week mid semester break, following the reported case in the school. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Samuel Ibiyemi, at a press conference yesterday, said the affected student must have contracted the disease from outside the University premises as none of her room mates and friend screened had the symptom. “So what we have in the university is an isolated case of Lassa fever not an outbreak as being rumoured. To allay the fear of the parents who have heard the rumour and have been calling the university to ascertain its veracity, management has decided to grant the students a three week mid-semester break. This will afford the agitated parents the opportunity to see their children and rest assured that they are safe and sound.”

According to the VC, the break will also enable the university to carry out necessary precautions before the students resume on 9 July, 2017.