Thursday, 14 January 2016

Medical Doctor Dies From Lassa Fever in Rivers State

A medical Doctor in Rivers state, Dr. Ehivai Njamala died today, January 14 from Lassa fever.

The doctor worked at Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

According to the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in the state, Dr. Duro Green, the deceased contracted the disease while treating some patients with the virus at the Disease Control unit in the hospital.

Dr Njamala will be the third person to have died from the viral disease since it broke out in the state in December 2015.

With this disease spreading at an alarming rate, it is very important for us all to be on guard to prevent getting infected.

8 ways to prevent Lassa fever (the last 4 are for health workers):

1. Close all doors and openings to prevent rodents from entering your house.

2. Store grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers to prevent rats from coming in contact with your food.

3. Dispose garbage far from your home.

4. Maintain a clean environment.

5. Be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.

6. Health workers should maintain basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.

7. Health workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Lassa fever should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding.

8. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with Lassa fever, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).

Stay safe and healthy!

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