Lassa fever: Lagos puts 63 under surveillance

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Lara Adejoro

The Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on Wednesday said the state has put 63 persons under surveillance.

The 63 persons were believed to have come in contact with the state’s index case of Lassa fever.

The index haemorrhagic fever patient is currently isolated at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba.

The commissioner disclosed this to PUNCH HealthWise at Alausa, Ikeja.

“We have identified 63 of the persons he may have been in contact with since his arrival from Ebonyi State into Lagos, Lagos Law School, the Nigeria Air Force Clinic and LUTH.

“They are being monitored. If they develop any symptom of Lassa fever, we will pick them up early and isolate them so that we can break the cycle of transmission,” the commissioner said.

Explaining how the index case was identified, Abayomi said the young man, who had been unwell, came in from Ebonyi State.

“His destination was the Lagos Law School where he was quickly attended to at the clinic but was not getting well after being treated for malaria.

“He was then referred to the Nigeria Air Force Clinic, Onikan, where he was managed further and was referred to LUTH when there was no improvement,” Abayomi added.

The commissioner noted that the patient was suspected to have Lassa fever based on his point of origin and his non-response to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever.

“The test was confirmed as positive on February 17, 2020, and he was immediately transferred to the isolation containment facility in LUTH,” he said.

So far, Lassa fever has spread to 26 states, with 472 cases and 72 deaths.

Abayomi assured Lagos residents that there was no cause for alarm.

“We hope that with our proactive approach, we will stop the spread from person to person and limit this index case as tightly as possible.”

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