Hemorrhagic Fever Kills 4 In Kaduna, Nigeria

by | Feb 22, 2024 | Headline News | 0 comments

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    A suspected outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) has claimed the lives of three health workers and a patient at the emergency ward of the 44 Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna. Kaduna is the capital city of Kaduna State and the former political capital of Northern Nigeria. It is located in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River.

    Kaduna is a trade center and a major transportation hub as the gateway to the northern states of Nigeria, with its rail and important road network. The population of Kaduna was 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census, however, rapid urbanization since 2005 has created an increasingly large population, and as of 2023, the estimated population is 1.1 million.

    That’s a hugely populated area to have four people contract a highly transmissible and deadly virus. The authority of the military hospital has shut down the emergency ward and samples taken from suspected contacts of the deceased have been sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, laboratory in Kano for analysis, according to Nigerian news outlet Punch Nigeria. 

    The hospital’s Corps Commander, Medical, Brigadier General, S. O. Okoigi, confirmed in a statement on Thursday that four people have died of VHF. “The Accident and Emergency Department of 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, has lost three members of staff and a patient suspected to have died from acute Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, VHF.”

    “This followed the management of a patient with febrile illness thought to have been the index patient with the disease 10 days ago. The patient also died from the suspected disease condition,” Okoigi said.

    Viral hemorrhagic (hem-uh-RAJ-ik) fevers are infectious diseases that can cause severe, life-threatening illnesses. They can damage the walls of tiny blood vessels, making them leak, and can hamper the blood’s ability to clot. The resulting internal bleeding is usually not life-threatening, but the disease can be. –The Mayo Clinic

    Okoigi also explained that the common symptoms in those affected included fever and nonspecific symptoms like malaria, noting that the illness was complicated by abnormal liver function, acute kidney failure, encephalopathy, microangiopathy, and elevated D-dimer, among others. “The Accident and Emergency has been closed for thorough disinfection process and samples have been taken from suspected contacts and the deceased and sent to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, laboratory in Kano for analysis,” the Corps Commander added.

    He added that the Kaduna state epidemiologists have been invited to help figure out the etiology of the febrile illness and to help curtail the spread of the disease.

    WHO Says Disease X Is A Matter Of “When,” Not “If”

    “Prevention remains the best approach in dealing with such outbreak since treatment options are limited against a background of high mortality,” Okoigi said.


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