Pregnant woman dies of Lassa fever in Calabar; doctors, nurses isolated
Lassa fever yesterday claimed the life of a pregnant woman, and her unborn baby at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).
The Guardian learnt that the 22-year old woman from Benue State was first admitted at Eburutu Barracks Clinic and Navy Hospital, Calabar, before being transferred to UCTH.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Thomas Agan, who confirmed the incident, said the woman was brought to the hospital when her situation had become critical.
He disclosed that the doctors and nurses who attended to her have been quarantined, while the maternity ward where she was handled has been isolated.
Agan said he would officially inform the Minister of Health and Director of the Centre for Disease Control for further investigation.
According to the Director-General, Cross River State Primary HealthCare Delivery Agency, Dr. Beta Edu: “It is unfortunate that the state is reporting a case of death from Lassa fever, despite efforts to keep residents informed about its prevention.”
The death created panic at the hospital and some of the patients vacated their wards for fear of infection.
Doctors and nurses were seen in groups discussing the matter, but the CMD has assured that “there is no cause for alarm as the matter is under control.”
A source at the hospital disclosed that all the hospital officials and patients that had contact with the patient have been quarantined to curtail any spread of the disease.
He said the confirmatory test was done in Uruan, Akwa Ibom State because the UCTH lacks such facilities.
“Lassa fever drugs are not easily available, but when diagnosed on time, it could be treated. The doctors and nurses have been briefed accordingly,” the source added.