We have invited all our medical personnel to inquire and checked all our medical centres, especially PHC and other private clinics and hospitals, but nothing like such a report.
No fewer than 15 persons have been placed under surveillance in Ting, Kombun District of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau, following the outbreak of Lassa fever in the area.
This was after Miss Nandi Audu, preparing for wedding in February, reportedly died of Lassa fever on Jan. 9 at Lakowa Hospital, Mangu.
Chairman of the council, Mr Titus Bise, who disclosed this in Mangu on Tuesday, said 15 persons, including the medical personnel who attended to the lady, were under surveillance to avoid spread of the disease.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that those quarantined included her family members, friends and medical personnel, who attended to her in the hospital.
A reliable source told NAN on condition of anonymity that other patients ran away when news of the deceased’s ailment filtered out in the hospital.
"We learnt that the victim took ill shortly after her return from her village, Ting, where she spent the Christmas and New Year holidays with her loved ones’’, the source said.
Bise described the incident as a "very unfortunate and disturbing development."
The chairman said a sample of her blood was taken and sent to Owerri in Imo for laboratory test.
Bise said it was the laboratory test that confirmed that she suffered from Lassa fever.
"Thank God, the World Health Organisation has assisted us with some drugs and facilities to curb and contain any spread of the disease.
"We have deployed a team of medical personnel in the community to sensitise the people on the dangers of the disease and the precautionary measures to be taken to avoid being infected’’, he said.
He called on the community to desist from eating rats or having any form of contact with them, so as to avoid being infected by the deadly disease.
"People should immediately report to the nearest clinic or hospital around them whenever any person has either severe cough or fever or any other symptom of the disease for medical attention.’’
He called on the Federal and State Governments, corporate bodies as well as international organizations, to come to the aid of he council in fighting the spread of the disease.
Mr Stephen Jings, Chairman, Management Committee, Pankshin Local Government of Plateau, on Tuesday denied any reported case of Lassa fever in the area.
NAN reports that the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Kuden Kamshak, had at a news conference on Monday mentioned two unconfirmed cases of Lassa fever in Pankshin.
The commissioner had said one person died of the disease in Mangu Local Government and other cases in Lantang South, Jos North, Shendam and Pankshin areas.
"As the Chairman of Pankshin Local Government, I have not heard of any such incident in our clinics or hospitals.
"We have invited all our medical personnel to inquire and checked all our medical centres, especially PHC and other private clinics and hospitals, but nothing like such a report.
"In fact, our medical personnel are on alert; right now there is nobody that is found ill or showed any of the symptoms of the disease”, Jings asserted.
Jings said he would follow up with the commissioner to find out where he got the information.
Mrs Rebecca Gogwe, the council’s Director of Health, described the report as “nothing but a rumour, as we don’t have any such case in Pankshin at all.’’
Gogwe said the council had started campaign on the dangers of eating rats or coming in contact with rats at this time.
"People should report to the nearest health clinic or health centre whenever they notice any serious fever or cough so as to save their lives.
"People should stop eating rats at this period when bushes are being burnt in preparation for the next raining season’’, Jings added.
When contacted, the commissioner said he purposely mentioned Pankshin to make its residents take precaution against any outbreak of the disease in their domain, considering their proximity to Mangu.