Lagos may be declared Lassa fever-free tomorrow
•Agege council enlightens residents on disease
If the second test on two patients admitted for the dreaded Lassa fever at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba comes out negative, the state may be certified free of the disease tomorrow.
The facility’s Chief Medical Director, Prof. Chris Bode, told The Guardian yesterday that the earlier infected duo tested negative to the ailment at the weekend and were recuperating very fast. He hinted that they would be discharged if the outcome turns favourable since there was no fresh case.
He said: “I can tell you that the patients have received the full compliments of treatment and are responding well. They both tested negative to the virus with the last examination but we hope to conduct another test Monday or Tuesday before we can comfortably say they are totally free of the disease.
“We are also monitoring the situation of the 150 persons that had contact with the index case under surveillance. They are all doing well and none of them have shown a symptom of the virus.”
But it was, however, learnt that the state cannot be given a clean slate until after an incubatory period of 21 days.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the timeframe ranges from six to 21 days. The onset of the disease, when symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness and malaise. It manifests headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and abdominal pain in the coming days.
In severe cases, facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop.
WHO noted: “About 80 per cent of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. One in five infections results in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.”
Meanwhile, health officials in Agege Local Council of the state have begun a house-to-house campaign against the disease.A statement yesterday by the media aide to the council chairman, Mr. Rotimi Sulyman, said the move was to avert an outbreak.
“We do not have any case yet in Agege but we must show concern and take into account the extroverted nature of Lagosians,” he quoted the chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Egunjobi, as saying.
“So there is this proverbial Agege’s rat that is said to be a fast runner, so we must be proactive and aggressive,” he added.The council boss noted that the campaign was to better educate the residents on the menace and make them know the best health habits to imbibe as anti-dotes, adding that his administration was poised to addressing the sanitation challenges in the area.According to him, during the exercise, the health workers would sensitise households and market women on cleanliness.