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Lagos Expects Test Results Of Strange Illness

… Wants Residents To Be Vigilant

Angela Onwuzoo

The Lagos State government said it is awaiting the  test results  of an outbreak of a strange illness, described  as Febrile Rash which had left over  20 children  dead
in Otodo Gbame community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking at a  press briefing weekend, the state Commissioner for Health,Dr. Jide Idris who urged the residents to be vigilant and report any case of strange illness in their environment  to  relevant authorities, said  34  other cases are currently under examination.

Idris  said : “Blood samples (and throat swabs) from the patients and water samples from the community have been taken to the Virology Reference Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory (DQCL), LASUTH, Ikeja respectively. The source of the infection is still under investigation.”

 Idris said the state Ministry of Health  had  already notified the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the situation.

And that  it had also constituted a team of Epidemiologists to investigate the outbreak and institute appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the disease.

 He noted that although the disease causing the outbreak was  yet to be confirmed, “the signs and symptoms are suggestive of Febrile Rash Illnesses.”
 Idris pointed out that  the outbreak was first identified  by the Medical Officer of Health of the LGA on the 9th February and  that the victims  are said to be within the age range of  eight and 72 months.
Giving insight into the background of the community, Idris said: “Otodo Gbame community is an expansive, sandy riverine, flood prone and camp-lie settlements with an estimated population of 100,000 people. The people are mainly Egun, however there are other tribes in the minority. The community is a slum with waste deposited at different spots. There are many scattered shallow wells in the community.

The water from the wells is found to be used mostly for bathing, washing and cooking. Majority of the citizen claimed it is not used for drinking but a few said they sometimes drink from the well. The community head Chief Hunpe Dansu confirmed the outbreak of the Febrile Rash Ilnesses.”

To prevent further spread of the illness, the commissioner affirmed that his ministry has commenced  awareness ceation and community sensitisation, while also stressing the need for  continuous health education of the community on immunization, measles and personal and environmental hygiene.

He revealed that the government  had concluded plans to begin the conduct of mapping of all slums and blighted areas in the state towards reducing the health hazards associated with such areas.

 He urged the residents  to join hands with the government in the identification of slums and in ensuring environmental sanitation at all times while  members of the public and health workers are to report any strange illness to the nearest health facility or call the following lines- 08037170614, 08055281442 and 08023169485.


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