Medicine

Lassa Fever: Lagos Calls For Calm, Advises Public On Safety Precautions

Lassa Fever: Lagos Calls For Calm, Advises Public On Safety Precautions

He said Lagos residents were also advised to report 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, adding that the Ministry of Health's Epidemiology Unit was now intensifying surveillance activities.

"If you see anybody with symptoms that will suggest Lassa fever, let us refer them promptly because this disease can be treated".

Giving a background to the current state of the situation, the CMD said: "In the last two weeks, we have treated a few number of cases of Lassa fever in LUTH".

Earlier on Tuesday, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Chris Bode, said no fewer than 100 health workers exposed to the index cases were now being monitored.

He said, "We have been to the house of the late patients and hospitals where they were first admitted".

The President of ARD, LUTH, Adebayo Sekunmade, said the management of the hospital was handling the situation.

"One of the problem is that Lassa fever has been with us and has been recurrent and so, people are used to it; but it is not something that we should be used to", he said.

"Mrs S, a 32-year-old lady came with bleeding complications of pregnancy on 25th of July, died same day and had a post-mortem examination performed on 27th July".

A resident doctor from the department of anatomic and molecular pathology, who took part in the autopsy, is said to have contracted the disease and is now on admission at the isolation ward of LUTH.

Prof. Chris Bode, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH visited the Isolation Centre of LUTH yesterday in company of his top management staff and spoke with the doctor and staff to boost morale and assure them of the hospital's support.

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Bode advised all LUTH workers to maintain high level of alert and take precautions in dealing with all suspected cases of the hemorrhagic fever.

"The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Nigeria has also been contacted".

Bode said, "There is no panic; the Lassa fever disease is being contained and all the stakeholders are working hard to make sure that it doesn't spread".

Of the 100, 3 persons who developed symptoms tested positive and have been on isolation ward here in LUTH.

Two other suspected cases from Lagos State are also now admitted and quarantined while undergoing confirmatory laboratory test. The virus, a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, is zoonotic, or animal-borne.

Lassa fever is an acute febrile illness, with bleeding and death in severe cases, caused by the Lassa fever virus with an incubation period of 6-21 days.

On the mode of transmission, he said: "The virus is shed in the urine and droppings of the rats, hence can be transmitted through direct contact, touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials or through cuts or sores".

While stating that its laboratory test could be done in LUTH, he said persons with information on suspected cases of the fever should notify the hospital's response team on 08058019466, 08058744780, 07035521015 and 08023299445.

"The onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, muscle and joint pains, prostration and malaise".