Lagos Records First Case Of Lassa Fever

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Lagos State said it has recorded a case of the Lassa fever.

The State Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi, who made the disclosure in a statement on Wednesday, said the patient is currently in isolation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.

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Lassa Fever has been on rampage in over 19 states in the country.

The Commissioner, meanwhile assured that the situation is under control and urged residents to be calm.

He however, stressed the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of prevention and control measures against the spread of the disease in the state.

He noted that the prevention and control of the disease was a shared responsibility of all citizens through the observance of the highest possible standards of personal and community hygiene as well as environmental sanitation.

Abayomi urged residents to store house-hold refuse in sanitary refuse bags or dust bins with tight-fitting covers to avoid infestation by rats and rodents; dispose refuse properly at designated dump sites and not into the drainage system and store food items in rodent-proof containers.

The statement said: “The Ministry of Health through Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health Directorate is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected in line with international standards while we beef up our other surveillance strategies.

“Members of the public are further advised to avoid contact with rats, to always cover their food and water properly, cook all their food thoroughly, as well as block all holes in the septic tanks and holes through which rats can enter the house and clear rat hideouts within the premises.

“Isolation wards have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases, drugs and other materials have also been prepositioned at designated facilities while health workers have been placed on red alert and community sensitisation activities intensified.”

The Commissioner further advised health workers, both in the public and private hospitals in the state, to ensure that they observe universal safety precautions and comply with infection prevention and control measures when dealing with patients, stressing that appropriate personal protective equipment like hand gloves, facemasks, goggles and overalls must be worn when attending to cases.

“Hands must be washed often with soap and running water or application of hand sanitizers after each contact with patients or contaminated materials and instruments must be autoclaved. Also, hospital mattresses must be covered with plastic sheets to prevent contamination,” he added.