Lassa Fever Outbreak Kills 2 In Lagos

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BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos

Two persons have been confirmed dead from fresh outbreak of Lassa fever in Lagos State at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH).

The Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof Chris Bode, who confirmed the development, said no less than 100 hospital workers exposed to the index case are currently being monitored.

It was also learnt that a resident doctor has been infected with the disease.

According to him, the patients who were presented very late died after spending a few days in admission.

Bode said, “Each of these two patients presented very late and died in spite of efforts to salvage them. The first was a 39-year old pregnant lady with bleeding disorder who died after a stillbirth.”

The CMD said a post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed, saying a resident doctor from the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology who took part in the autopsy was later confirmed with the disease and is currently on admission and responding well to treatment at the Isolation Ward of LUTH.

Bode added that two other suspected cases from Lagos state are also presently admitted and quarantined while undergoing confirmatory laboratory tests, urging all LUTH workers to maintain a heightened level of alert in the wake of this new outbreak and observe universal precautions in handling all suspected cases of this viral hemorrhagic fever.

He said LUTH was already working with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health to contain the present Lassa fever outbreak by mobilising human and material resources to trace the sources and extent of the disease, follow up on potential contacts, identify early and test suspected cases.

“There are adequate materials for containment of the disease while drugs have been made available to treat anyone confirmed with the disease. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Nigeria has also been contacted.”