An outbreak described as fatal febrile rash illnesses has been recorded in Otodo Gbame community in Eti-Osa LGA, area of Lagos State.
It was identified by the Medical Officer of Health of the LGA on the 9th February. The report indicated that many children died as a result of the outbreak.
Already 20 children had died as the cause of the outbreak remains unknown, just as 34 cases of sick children with described as Febrile Rash Illnesses (FRI) have been line listed.
The fatality of the outbreak was also confirmed as the graves of 20 children who died from the FRI since the day of onset of signs and symptoms in the first case on 6th January 2016, were identified by their parents.
Thirty-Four cases have been listed so far with 17 males and 17 females. 17 dead patients have been identified with nine males and eight females. All are within the age range of eight to 72 months.
Dr Idris said: “The ministry drew up an investigation plan to investigate the outbreak, verify reported deaths and report findings and recommendations. The disease causing the outbreak is yet to be confirmed. However, the signs and symptoms are suggestive of Febrile Rash Illnesses. 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.”
The Commissioner described the place where the outbreak is recorded- Otodo Gbame community as 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 illnesses,” said Dr Idris.
Dr Idris said: “The government is presently intensifying efforts to conduct mapping of all slums and blighted areas in the state towards reducing the health hazards associated with such areas. The people are hereby enjoined to join hands with the government in the identification of slums and in ensuring environmental sanitation at all times. And 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.”
To control the disease and prevent further spread and avert additional deaths, the ministry has intensive awareness creation and community mobilisation and health education is ongoing through meetings and community dialogues. Continuous health education of the community on immunisation, measles and personal and environmental hygiene are on-going.
“House-to house search for cases is still ongoing. Forty seven sick children were found, out of which 34 were line listed as Febrile Rash Illnesses. Immediate immunisation of children with measles vaccine is on-going in the community. A total of Five Hundred and Eighty-Seven eligible children were immunised with measles vaccine and administered with Vitamin A. Eight blood samples and seven throat swabs were collected from cases of FRI and sent to the laboratory for measles and other possible viral illnesses. Follow up on suspected children who are undergoing treatment to monitor recovery and intervene with further medical attention if required. Seven cases were already followed up as at 15th February, with Six recovering while one who was still ill was immediately taken to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Ikate for further medical attention, while further investigation is still on-going,” said Dr Idris.