Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, says suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fevers otherwise known as Lassa fever, will be isolated in the designated quarantine areas for barriers nursing, until a definitive diagnosis is concluded.
This is just as the commissioner denied that any victim of the disease had died in the state.
According to a statement she personally signed on Sunday, Coker said though suspected Lassa fever case was confirmed by the Ogun State Virology Laboratory on January 24 2020, no one had died as a result of the fever.
A 26-year-old victim of Lasa fever, Titilayo Akinsola, had been reportedly killed by the disease on Saturday night at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, where she was admitted four days earlier.
The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Segun Orisajo, later confirmed the death to reporters in Abeokuta.
Orisajo, who stated that the deceased was admitted to the hospital, disclosed that a series of tests showed she had Lassa fever.
But Coker in the statement on Sunday said the patient who was pregnant had taken ill and was referred to the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Abeokuta,
She explained that “contrary to some reports circulating in the media, the patient is not dead as she was transferred to the Federal Specialist Hospital in Irua, Edo State, where facilities are provided for the patient with the full benefit of multidisciplinary care required for her due to her pregnancy.”
She further stated that the Rapid Response Team had commenced line listing of all who have come into contact with the patient for surveillance purposes, including her relatives and hospital staff that managed the case.
Dr. Coker assured members of the public that “the state government acted proactively by putting all counter measures in place to contain the situation – giving thermometers to those who had been in contact with the patient to monitor their temperatures and also providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at the designated treatment centre at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu. Our health educators and officers have been deployed into action and are educating the public on ways to avoid being infected with Lassa fever.”
“Other emerging or suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fevers are to be isolated in the designated quarantine areas for barriers nursing, until definitive diagnosis is concluded.
“The State Epidemiologist and DNSO should immediately be notified on telephone numbers 09099140121 and 09099140122 in case of any suspected case,” Dr. Coker added.
While urging residents in the state to maintain proper hygiene, Coker also urged members of the public to avoid contact with rodents, pointing out “they should cover their food properly and ensure that their food is warmed before eating it”.