A serving member of the National Youth Service Corps, identified as one Mr. Onwuegbuzie Stanley-Samuel, who was deployed to Cross River, has died of Lassa fever disease at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, who disclosed this to journalists on Friday in Calabar, said Onwuegbuzie hailed from Delta State and was serving in Obubra before he died.
Abisong said the deceased was first admitted at the General Hospital, Obubra, where he was treated for cerebral malaria for one week.
She said that his condition however got worse and he was referred to the UCTH for further treatment, while his blood sample was taken to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo for diagnosis.
“The incident started about two weeks ago in Obubra and we all know that the incubation period of Lassa fever is three to 21 days.
“The deceased is an indigene of Delta State. The last time he travelled to Lagos State was during the Christmas period in December 2016 and came back to Cross River in January 2017.
“The deceased was living in the corps members’ lodge in Obubra and since he came back in January, he has not left that community
“Unfortunately, we lost him yesterday. Sadly, the corps member contracted the disease in Cross River,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator, World Health Organisation, Cross River State, Dr. Thompson Igbu, has assured the residents that the organisation had been working hard to prevent further spread of the disease.
Igbu said the WHO was working closely with the state Ministry of Health to curb further spread of the disease in the state.
According to him, over 15 persons, including Onwuegbuzie’s colleagues living in the NYSC lodge in Obubra, had been line-listed.
“We have line-listed over 15 persons in Obubra who are `primary contacts’ and the hospital where the deceased was first admitted has also been line-listed.
“We are supporting the state with essential drugs and we are making sure that necessary steps are taken to curb further spread of the disease,’’ he said.
Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, UCTH, Dr. Ngim Ogbu, said the corps member’s death was the second recorded case of death resulting from Lassa fever in the hospital.
Ogbu said the infection control unit of the hospital was on top of the case from the beginning, by limiting the number of contacts.
“The body of the deceased has not been sent to the mortuary; this is because we are taking measures to curb further spread of the disease,” he said.