Local News

Yellow fever claims 25 lives in Benue

By Ann Ngbea

The yellow fever outbreak in three (3) communities in Ogbadibo Local Government Area in Benue State has claimed 25 lives.

Commissioner over-seeing the Ministry of Health and Human Services, Dr Godwin Oyiwona announced this Thursday, after a meeting with members of Outbreak Response, Surveillance Action and Risk Communication teams at Benue Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, Makurdi.

Dr Oyiwona who is also the Commissioner for Science and Technology, said the outbreak which was recorded in Owukpa and Otukpa has extended to Orokam with many patients hospitalised with the illness.

He encouraged the people to use the recently distributed Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), since the disease is caused by mosquito to prevent mosquito bite.

Dr Oyiwona said government was doing everything possible, to bring the situation under control and encouraged people of the area not to loose hope, adding that government was also making efforts to provide water to communities that were having water challenge.

Earlier, State Epidemiologist, Dr Terungwa Ngishe explained that the meeting was at the instance of the outcome of investigated illness in Ogbadibo LGA where results of samples taken to National Reference Laboratory, Abuja confirmed that it was yellow fever.

According to Dr Ngishe, the yellow fever virus are picked from host monkey by a specie of mosquito known as Aedes Egypti, mostly found in the jungle and occasionally in settlements, that transmit the virus to human beings and subsequently, carried among humans.

He said the Ministry of Health has trained case managers and deployed them to General Hospital, Otukpa, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Okpoga and Federal Medical Centre, Ofekwo as well as other big private hospitals in the areas.

The State Epidemiologist said, enough commodities have been supplied to sustain patients through acute and active phases of the illness with mass immunization to boost immunity of the people since the disease has no treatment for now.

He explained that the disease comes with acute fever, stooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, yellowness of eyes in some cases and bleeding, urging opinion and community leaders to educate people with such symptoms to visit hospital for test and treatment.

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