Officials at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, has confirmed three more cases of Lassa fever in Lagos just as the State Government urged residents not to panic as it is on top of the situation.
Recall that two persons infected with the disease have died at the LUTH. Also, resident doctor who participated in the autopsy on the cases got infected.
The three people who tested positive to the fever were part of the 100 being traced in connection with the treatment of Lassa fever cases.
The three, like the doctor, are being treated at the hospital’s isolation ward.
While urging for calm among residents, the Lagos State Government (LASG) said residents should not panic as the state and the Federal Government were doing everything possible to control the spread of the diseases.
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 international standards, ”is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected. Isolation centres have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases while drugs and other materials have also been prepositioned at designated facilities.”
The Special Adviser confirming five cases of the disease, said two deaths had been recorded, noting that the remaining three patients were responding to treatment in designated isolation centres.
“The first case of the disease; a 32-year-old woman with bleeding complications of pregnancy, died at LUTH on July 25 and had a post-mortem examination performed on July 27 with the result of viral studies coming out positive for Lassa fever on July 29.
“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 neighboring states before coming down with the disease. The two cases have since been buried in line with prescribed international standards,” Onanuga said.
The Special Adviser confirmed that three health workers who developed symptoms had tested positive and on admission receiving treatment in an isolation ward in LUTH.
Onanuga said the laboratory tests on two other suspected cases at Mainland Hospital referred from General Hospital, Lagos and a private hospital in Imota were negative.
He stressed the need for residents to maintain personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease.
Onanuga advised the public to avoid contact with rats, to always cover their food and water properly, cook food thoroughly and block all hideouts and holes through which rats can enter the house.
LUTH’s Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Chris Bode said there were no emergency cases of Lassa fever at LUTH but each of the two cases that were reported in the hospital were diagnosed and managed in other facilities before they were referred to LUTH.
“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. However, we should all be involved collectively and individually to stop further spread of this disease.
“I urge us to prevent our food items from being contaminated by rats and rat droppings and urine,” he said.