Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Lagos Urges Calm As Three More Test Positive For Lassa Fever

Nigerian hospital intensifies Lassa fever surveillance LUTH CMD calls for Precautionary Measures as 2 die of Lassa Fever
Wilma Wheeler | 11 August, 2017, 01:22

The Yobe State Commissioner of Health Dr. Bello Kawuwa, has debunked reports that cases of Lassa fever were found in Yobe state north east Nigeria.

The fresh 22 were persons from Ikorodu who had contact with the index case and are now under close observation, the Director of Disease Control, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Eniola Eniosho, said.

Bode said the workers contracted the infection from the corpse of a 32-year-old pregnant woman.

"The second case, a known sickle cell disease patient, died on the 5th of August, also at LUTH".

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, who issued the statement, added that the Ministry of Health, in line with worldwide standards, "is now carrying out "contact tracing" to determine those who may have been infected".

Bode stated that a post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed, adding that a resident doctor from the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology who took part in the autopsy was later confirmed with the disease and is now on admission and responding well to treatment at the Isolation Ward of LUTH.

He said the infected were being cared for by a corps of professional and volunteer doctors, nurses, pharmacists. microbiologists, epidemiologists, emotional care givers, cleaners and others round the clock.

"Also, the three confirmed cases, including the resident doctor are in the surveillance unit in LUTH and they are responding well to treatment". Those that are being monitored have been given a thermometer to check their temperature.

"We will let you know when the result of the second laboratory test is released".

"Nigeria can combat such situations; we have done so before and we came out clean and stronger, so we should all collectively work to together to ensure that we do it again, " Bode said. The index case was referred from Divine Grace Hospital, Imota, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos. A post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa Fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed.

Eniosho said: "Today makes it day 14 and none has come down with fever". According to the CMD, the victims were handled professionally and their dead bodies disposed properly in line with worldwide standards.

Olubunmi Omojowolo, Chairman of NMA, who reacted to the death of two Lassa fever patients on Tuesday, said the most important thing now is education and hygiene. All arrangements have been made to bury the corpse based on global standards.

"In case of death, we use body bags and we seal the coffin and the relatives will not see the body".

Erinosho, who advised Nigerians to keep their foodstuffs away from rats, however, urged them not to panic as Lassa fever, according to him, is a curable disease whose treatment is readily available in the country.

The patient is said to be receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta. It is spread by rats.

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