At least one person has died in a suspected case of Lassa fever in Delta State. 

The death of the 75-year-old woman was announced on Sunday by the spokesman for the Ministry of Information, Paul Osahor.

A statement by Mr Osahor said the woman died on August 29, after she had been referred to three different hospitals. 

"The victim, who took ill, went to the General Hospital, Umuolu, Ndokwa East Local Government Area (LGA) on 18th August, 2018, was referred to the Central Hospital, Kwale, Ndokwa West LGA the following day, 19th and from there was further referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba on 24th August, 2018.

"At the FMC, Asaba, the victim’s blood sample was taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State for test but unfortunately died on the 29th August, 2018 the same day the hospital in Irrua received the lab result which was confirmed positive to the Lassa virus," the statement read. 

He then advised residents in the state not to panic, as the Ministry of Health officials were on top of the situation, doing contact tracing on those who had contact with the victim.  

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"Findings indicate that it is over 21 days since the victim presented at the hospital in Umuolu and Kwale and no case has been discovered, however, contact tracing is ongoing at FMC, Asaba.

"As part of safety measures to check the spread, residents in the state are advised to cultivate good personal hygiene, clean and fumigate their environment, promote community hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes and protect food from rats, and to report any case of strange fever to the nearest hospital," the health ministry further stated.

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Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is caused by the urine and faeces of a specie of rat when they get in contact with food, water and human wounds with their faeces and urine.

Infected persons spread the disease when their body fluids such as blood, faeces, urine, sperm and vomit come in contact with others.

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