• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos confirms first case of Lassa fever

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Lagos State government has confirmed the first case of Lassa fever. Ahmmadiyyah Hospital, Ojokoro, is the recipient hospital of the patient who was identified as a 25-year-old, male, undergraduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.

He was reported to have fallen ill after he arrived Lagos on January 9, with complaint of fever, sore throats and difficulty in swallowing.

He was admitted for six days and later referred by the private hospital to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on January 14, because the fever was persistent and his condition was not improving. He was confirmed as a case of Lassa fever on January 15, at LUTH.

Currently, the patient is being managed at the LUTH and his state of health is reported unwavering.

Ahmmadiyyah Hospital is currently under watch, and service has been put on hold until further notice. The 15 in-patients as well as 25 health workers in the facility are reported to be under watch for the next 21 days. Monitoring is continuing and Lagos State reports show that there are 92 contacts involved and all are being followed up.

To this end, the state government has called on residents to be calm, assuring them that both the state and Federal Governments are doing everything possible to control the spread of the Lassa virus.

In line with international standards, the contacts of the patient are being tracked for follow-up. Meanwhile, drugs and other materials have also been prepositioned at designated facilities, and isolation centres have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases.

Interventions by the state ministry of health, as revealed by Jide Idris, commissioner of health, include: Anti-viral drugs for the management of cases, provision of dedicated ambulances to respond to referral and transportation of cases, reactivation of isolation wards in LASUTH and 26 general hospitals in Lagos State for isolation of any suspected case, placing Mainland Hospitals and all other General Hospitals on alert, distribution of factsheets on Lassa fever to the medical directors of LASUTH and 26 general hospitals in Lagos State, among several other interventions.

“Members of the public are hereby to note that Lassa fever can be contacted through ingestion of foods and drinks contaminated by the saliva, urine and faeces of infected rats, catching and preparing infected rats as food, inhaling tiny particles in the air contaminated with infected rat urine or droppings and direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, through mucous membranes, like eyes, nose or mouth,” Idris said.

However, members of the public and health workers are requested to report any case or symptoms of persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever to the nearest health facility or call the following lines: 08037170614, 08022234273, 0802224176808033065303, 08033086660, 08055281442 and 08023169485.