Thursday, 28 January 2016

Lagos State government on Wednesday, confirmed
the death of another patient of Lassa fever, saying
the deceased, a 27-year- old lady, died on Tuesday,
a few hours after been admitted into Ijede General
Hospital, having traversed one private hospital and
three churches before she was referred to the
government hospital on January 23, 2016.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed
this during a joint press briefing, with the
Commissioner for Information, Mr Steve Ayorinde,
among others.
The commissioner said so far, Lagos State had
recorded 20 suspected cases of Lassa fever as of
January 26, 2016, since the outbreak of the disease
in the country last November, disclosing that the
ministry had line-listed 537 contacts of the
confirmed cases and 534, amounting to 99 per cent
of the contacts were currently being monitored.
“Fourteen (14) suspected cases tested negative,
four (4) suspected cases were confirmed positive of
Lassa fever, while the results of three (3)
suspected cases are pending. One (1) case was
confirmed on January 15, 2016, two (2) cases were
confirmed on January 18, 2016 and one (1) case
was confirmed on January 26, 2016,” Dr Idris said.
Giving the circumstance that led to the death of the
latest victim, the commissioner said the affected
lady had travelled to Edo State for the burial of her
relation, who had died of Lassa fever and returned
to Lagos on January 2, 2016.
According to him, she became ill on January 14 and
received care in one private hospital and three
churches before she was referred on January 23,
2016 to Ijede General Hospital with fever, vomiting,
diarrhoea and body weakness.
He said the patient died within a few hours of
admission, adding that the remains of the deceased
had been kept in the morgue in leak proof body bag.
Idris said the deceased would be buried after due
consultation with her family, adding that 90 persons
had been line-listed as contacts of the last
confirmed case and contact tracing was on-going.
The commissioner said several ways by which
people could contact the dreaded disease, include
ingestion of foods and drinks contaminated by the
saliva, urine and faeces of infected rats, catching
and preparing infected rats and food, having direct
contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids,
through mucous membranes, like eyes, nose or
mouth, said vigorous sensitisation of the members
of the public were on-going by his ministry.
According to Dr Idris, people at greater risk of
infection with Lassa fever include families and
friends of an infected person in the course of
feeding, holding and caring for them, and the health
workers who had attended to infected persons.
He urged Lagosians to join hands in prevention of
the dreaded disease by observing a high level of
personal and environmental hygiene, ensuring
proper environmental sanitation by using
appropriate methods of collection and disposal of
waste, and avoiding open defecation.
Dr Idris also enjoined them to wash their hands
properly before and after cooking of foods, eliminate
rats from dwellings, avoid consumption of rat meat,
protect food items from rodents by storing them in
plastics containers with covers, while he equally
tasked Lagosians to cover all foods and water,
including left-overs.
He called on all health workers to have high index of
suspicion in cases with high fever not responding to
treatment, especially those with positive history of
contact with infected person and adhere strictly to
infection control measures while providing health
care to the people.


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