Five fresh cases of Lassa fever were yesterday confirmed in Ondo State with two incidents in Akoko South West council and three in Owo council areas of the state. This created tension in Owo town, which has the higher cases leading to the closure of Achievers University, where a female student was confirmed to have caught the fever.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi, who addressed journalists at the campus, refuted allegations that there were multiple cases, insisting that the institution only recorded one case.
He, however, noted that the victim, who must have contracted it from her residence off campus, had been treated at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo and should be discharged soon.
Due to the confirmed case, Ibiyemi said the management had declared a three-week break, making it mandatory for students to present certificates of medical fitness from a recognized government institution on resumption.
He added that the university was also collaborating with the FMC and the state government to ensure that the institution and town was safe for all. Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Taiye Oni, has lamented that the outbreak of the disease came at an unexpected time.
“This is not the usual time it occurs in Ondo State. It usually occurs during the dry season and limited to Owo and Ose,” he said. Oni, however, stressed that government has stepped up measures to combat the disease by reactivating its disease notification and surveillance mechanism.
“Government is doing its best to contain the spread by isolating the patients to prevent its further spread, adding it had embarked on aggressive contact tracing, sensitisation of the people not only in Owo and Ose but also other parts of the state on prevention and precautionary measures,” he added.