By Ruth Oginyi
At least one person has been reportedly dead following an outbreak of Lassa Fever in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Thursday.
However, the state government has ordered the closure of St. Vincent Hospital, Ndubia, Igbegu in Izzi LGA where the deceased identified as Ogaranya Ephraim reportedly gave up the ghost.
It was gathered that the deceased and his sibling, Ogaranya Uchechi , were admitted at the mission hospital when they reportedly fell ill.
But Uchechi who was also diagnosed with the virus has been moved to Virology Centre located at Alex Ekwueme- Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, for further treatment.
The development, however, has thrown members of the community into palpable fears.
Our correspondent reports that the disease always hit Izzi local government in every dry season
Meanwhile, the state government, while announcing the immediate closure of the hospital, ordered that patients and staff of the hospital be quarantine and subjected to further medical examination at the Virology Centre.
In statement signed by the Special Assist to Governor David Umahi on Media, Francis Nwaze the state government also ordered the closure of the hospital to avoid further spread of the virus.
The government further directed that family of the deceased and their relatives be quarantined.
The Statement reads, “following the suspected outbreak of Lassa Fever at St. Vincent Hospital, Igbeagu, Izzi LGA, Ebonyi State, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi has directed the closure of the hospital with immediate effect and all the patients and staff of the said hospital are to submit themselves to the virology center at Abakaliki for comprehensive medical examination.
“Furthermore, the Governor directed that all the family members and close relatives of the above be quarantined at the South East Virology Center, Abakaliki for comprehensive medical examination.
“Also, Governor Umahi has directed that the Ministry of Health under the watch of the Commissioner for Health in conjunction with the Staff of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki to immediately address all issues relating to the lassa fever outbreak including comprehensive examination of all suspects and clean up of St. Vincent Hospital. Place precautionary Announcement in all media houses in the state on preventive measures of Lassa Fever.
“The Governor expects that reports of the progress of the actions of the above directives get to him every two hours”, the Statement added.