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3 test positive for Lassa fever in Lagos, 150 under watch

10/08/2017 14:31

Three persons under surveillance for Lassa fever at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, have tested positive to the disease.


This came as Lagos State Government, yesterday, urged Lagosians not to panic, saying the epidemic was near containment in the state.


Also, 150 people exposed to the cases are now under surveillance.


Meanwhile, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the contagious disease, the Lagos State Government has taken over the burial of the corpse of the second index case at LUTH.


Disclosing these and other developments in a joint press conference of LUTH and Lagos State Ministry of Health, the Chief Medical Director, Prof Chris Bode, explained that the current outbreak was being effectively traced in the field, adding that all persons currently exposed to the index cases were being effectively treated.


“The outbreak is under control. We have enough drugs and we have received enough assistance from partners. Let us please douse the panic created by unguarded statements and if anyone needs to make enquiries, we have already provided hotlines for this,’’ he said.


Bode, who was optimistic that the outbreak would be defeated, explained that corpses of the deceased who came from neighbouring states, had been professionally managed. He added that each of the cases had been managed in other facilities before they were referred to LUTH.


He said the infected resident doctor and others that tested positive to the Lassa virus were responding to treatment.


“She (the doctor) is in good state of health. Once Lassa fever is detected early and treatment initiated, there is every cause to be optimistic of recovery of the patient.


"We have four beds in the isolation unit which is completely self-contained and have rooms for nurses and doctors, where they can change, and they have their own toilets and bathrooms.


“It has regular supply of electricity and water, fully air conditioned and we follow international standard procedure in attending to the patients,’’ he said.


While disclosing that the hospital has made necessary arrangement for additional spaces for any likely cases from within or outside the hospital, he explained that ‘workers and other people who have been exposed to the cases have been profiled.


“All those under surveillance have been given thermometers to check their temperature in case of any unusual rise in body temperature. The LUTH workers, who came in contact directly with the first patient, were close to 100 and they were swiftly informed and each of them is still being followed up for any early signs of Lassa fever.


“Of the 100, three persons, who developed symptoms tested positive and have been on admission and receiving treatment in our Isolation Ward here in LUTH.”


He urged all hospitals across the state to maintain high index of suspicion and contact LUTH on 08058019466, 08058744780, 07035521015 and 08023299445.

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