The Lagos State Government has called on residents to be calm and not panic, assuring them that the Federal Government, in active collaboration with the State Government, is doing everything possible to control the spread of Lassa Fever disease in Lagos State.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, the government noted that the Ministry of Health in line with international standards, is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected, adding that isolation centres have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases, while drugs and other materials have also been provided at such centres.
The Special Adviser confirmed five cases of the disease, stating that two deaths have been recorded, while the remaining three patients are responding to treatment in designated centres.
He stated further that the first identified case was that of a 32-year-old lady with bleeding complications during pregnancy who later died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on the 25th of July. The post-mortem examination was performed on the 27th of July with the result of viral studies showing positive traits of Lassa fever on the 29th of July.
“The second case, a known sickle cell disease patient, died on the 5th of August, also at LUTH. He was said to have travelled to one of the neighbouring states before coming down with the disease. Their corpses have since been buried in line with prescribed international standards”, he explained.
The Special Adviser stated that the health personnel who came in direct contact with the patients are still being followed up for early signs of Lassa fever, while the three health workers who developed symptoms have tested positive and are on admission receiving treatment in an isolation ward in LUTH.
Onanuga disclosed that Laboratory tests conducted on two other suspected cases referred from General Hospital, Lagos and a private hospital in Imota respectively were negative.
He stressed the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene always as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the State.
He also advised members of the public to avoid contact with rats, always cover their food and water properly, cook all their food thoroughly, as well as block all hideouts and holes through which rats can enter into premises.
The Special Adviser explained that Lassa fever is an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus that is associated with persistent high fever, adding that as the disease progresses into a severe form, the patient begins to develop facial swelling, fluid in the chest, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina and the gut, low blood pressure, shock, disorientation and fall into coma, while also developing kidney and liver failure.
Other symptoms include general weakness of the body, malaise headache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
He advised health workers to ensure that they take universal safety precautions while attending to patients, stressing that appropriate personal protective clothing like hand gloves, face masks, goggles and overall must be worn during the period.
“Hands must be washed after each contact with a patient or contaminated materials, instruments must be decontaminated by rinsing them in a disinfectant solution and the use of a plastic sheet is essential to avoid the contamination of mattresses. They must be large enough to cover the entire mattress, be waterproof, and thoroughly disinfected after the discharge or the death of patients”, Onanuga added.
He advised Lagos residents to report any suspected case or cases of the disease symptoms or persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever to the nearest health facility just as the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Unit intensifies its surveillance activities.
“Residents are also urged to contact the Directorate of Disease Control in the State Ministry of Health or the following telephone numbers
08022234273, 08037170614 and 08023169485 for further clarifications on the disease,” the Special Adviser said.
11:58 AM (5 hours ago)
LAGOS AIRLIFTS 1,353 PILGRIMS TO SAUDI ARABIA FOR HAJJ
The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has successfully airlifted 1,353 pilgrims on four different flights from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia for this year’s hajj exercise.
Giving an update on the State Hajj operations, the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Amir Ul-Hajj 2017, Dr. Abdul Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, said the pilgrims have been successfully housed in their respective hotels in Medina and activities of the holy pilgrimage have commenced in earnest.
He pointed out that pilgrims from other continents could not hide their feelings in view of the way Nigerian pilgrims have conducted themselves during their visit to the prophet’s Mosque and other important places that form part of the hajj exercise.
The Commissioner explained that the pilgrims have also begun visitation to historical sites in Medina; some of the places visited included Masjid Nabawi (Prophet Mosque), Raudotul Jannah, the site of the graves of prophet Muhammed, Abu Bakr and Umar.
The Amir Ul-Hajj has also informed intending Pilgrims who are to be airlifted to be ready for the journey as they could travel any moment from now.
He, however, advised them not to hold items on behalf of any other pilgrim, adding that the punishment for drug trafficking in the Middle East is death.
“Drugs could be hidden in onions, dry red chilies, canned drinks and other unsuspecting items”, Dr. Abdul-Lateef said.