A suspected Lassa fever patient died on Friday evening at the State House Clinic in Abuja after bleeding from various parts of his body.
The young man, whose name could not be immediately ascertained was said to have been sick for about two weeks, before he was rushed down from Kaduna to the clinic where he gave up the ghost.
It was learnt that the patient was bleeding from the mouth and ears before he died. His remains had been deposited at the SHC morgue.
Our correspondent gathered that the tragic incident threw the medical personnel into panic as they watched helplessly as the patient died.
Sources told our correspondent that the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was about having a meeting with senior officials of the ministry when he was informed about the incident.
The minister and his official were said to have rushed down to the clinic where they met the confused SHC medical personnel and saw the dead patient.
“The minister directed that blood specimen should be obtained from the patient, which was taken to the Reference Laboratory at Asokoro. So, the ministry is expecting the result of the test which would be ready tomorrow (today). We are not sure it is Lassa fever, but the manner in which the young man died and other symptoms indicated that he might have contracted Lassa fever,” a source explained.
It was gathered that Adewole later had a meeting with health officials on the Lassa fever outbreak in the country and the measures that could be taken to curb it.
A senior ministry official said the disease may still claim many more victims especially in February and March (dry season) when the disease vector, multimammate rats procreate heavily, thus increasing the chances of infecting foodstuffs.
Our correspondent learnt that the ministry had distributed Glabarine injections and tablets to states having outbreaks of the disease.
The minister had announced the death of the first Lassa fever patient at the National Hospital, Abuja last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a case of Lassa fever has been confirmed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos
A report by an online newspaper, The Cable, cited the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, as saying that the case involves a 25-year-old student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Adewole was said to have added that the patient was responding to treatment.
It will be recalled that the disease was said to have been detected in Abuja and 11 other states.
A patient died in Abuja on Thursday bringing to 43, the number of fatalities from the disease across the country.