Schools Shut Down In Ebonyi Over Lassa Fever Outbreak

The Ebonyi Government has ordered the closure of all public and private schools in the state to check the spread of lassa fever that broke out in the state recently.

Prof. John Eke, the Commissioner for Education, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in an interview in Abakaliki, that the closure was part of proactive steps taken to contain the spread of the disease in the state.

Eke disclosed that the government embarked on the measure to effectively control and contain the spread of the dreaded lassa virus which had claimed some lives including two medical doctors.

The commissioner, however, said that the lassa out break in the state was not alarming, but noted that the closure of schools was done to check the disease spreading into schools.

“First of all, I want to inform you that the issue of the outbreak of the lassa disease is not in alarming rate, and what we have done is to ensure that we effectively put the spread under control.

“Again, a women yesterday (Wednesday, Jan 17), was diagnosed positive of the virus and this patient has her children in schools.

“We believe that one of the best ways to handle the situation is to shut down our schools until we are sure that our pupils and students are safe.

“The schools will remain shut for seven school days to enable us monitor the situation and we appeal to parents, guardians and school authorities to comply with the directive, ” Eke said

 

Lassa Fever: Master Bakers Operating Unhygienic Environment Sanctioned

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it will henceforth sanction any master baker caught operating in an unhygienic environment following the outbreak of Lassa Fever in some states.

Mr Sunday Badewole, the Osun State Coordinator of SON gave the warning at a seminar organized by members of the Association of Master Bakers and Confectionery of Nigeria on Friday in Osogbo.

At the one-day seminar with the theme: “Good Manufacturing Practice: A Must in Factories’’, Badewole said that exposing flour and other raw baking materials to rodents was unhygienic.

According to him, exposing raw baking materials and final products to rodents and dirty environment will endanger the lives of many Nigerians who consume bread on a daily basis.

The SON official said the research carried out by the organization revealed that many master bakers operated in an environment that did not meet the Nigeria Industrial Standards.

“Preventing the spread of Lassa fever and maintaining clean factory environment is a collective effort and that is why we appeal to master bakers to keep their factory protected from rodents and pest.

“They should ensure raw materials are of good quality and are stored in a good environment,’’

Badewole said that the aim of the seminar was to educate master bakers on hygienic practices required in bread baking and improving their knowledge on good manufacturing practices.

He stressed that the health of Nigerians was paramount to the organization, adding that the SON would never compromise industrial standards.

The SON official urged the master bakers to always check for expiry and production date, manufacturers’ address and the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS) mark of quality on every raw baking material purchased.

Badewole said that good ventilation, efficient waste disposal, hand-washing gadgets and providing standard operating procedures for all processes and equipment were necessary for factories.

He urged the master bakers to ensure their products get SON Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certificate.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Osun Master Bakers Association, Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Onaopepo, commended SON for organizing the seminar for his members.

Onaopepo said that the seminar would go a long way in assisting members of the Association in maintaining cleanliness in their various factories.

Another LUTH Doctor Tests Positive For Lassa Fever

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, has announced a new case of Lassa Fever from among the doctors that first had close contact with the index case.

Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, while briefing pressmen in Lagos said the doctor has already commenced treatment and is expected to recover fully very soon.

Bode said psychological and other supports have also been provided and her family contacts are closely monitored.

He said, “Last week, we reported the deaths of two patients who had been brought to the LUTH and were later diagnosed with Lassa fever. Three doctors who closely attended to the first  patient later tested positive for the disease and were admitted while 135 other contacts have been followed up.

“As of Wednesday, the three doctors admitted with confirmed Lassa Fever In LUTH have alll been certified fit and discharged home because subsequent repeated tests on them showed they have now tested negative for Lassa and no longer harbor the disease.”

Bode said 70 of the contacts being followed up have also been let off, having completed their period of observation.

“Only one new case was identified on Wednesday from among the doctors that first had close contact with the index case and she had already commenced treatment and is expected to recover fully very soon,” he added.

Speaking on the measures put in place in LUTH to tackle the disease, The CMD said there is a fully equipped response squad available round the clock to assess and take over the management of any suspected cases in LUTH.

“An internal enquiry has been empanelled to audit possible breaches in established service protocols and any other reasons that resulted into Hospital personnel getting infected. Trainings have also been conducted and are ongoing for staff at the forefront of patients’ care,” he added.

He however thanked both the Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Ministry of Health for supporting LUTH with the provision of more drugs and Personal Protective Equipment, follow up services and decontamination.

Source: Leadership

Lassa Fever: Osun Govt Charges People To Raise Hygiene Standards

The Government of Osun, has called on the people of the state to be vigilant and maintain the highest hygiene standard possible in the light of current reported cases of Lassa Fever in some states in the South West such as Lagos and Ogun.

In a statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure, government said there is however no confirmed case of outbreak of the fever in the state.
Government noted that the case of a corpse brought from Lagos, which death was linked to Lassa Fever,  was subjected to laboratory test and tested positive  to the fever but was buried before the autopsy report came out.
According to the statement, the State’s Ministry Of Health promptly put the relatives of the corpse on a 21-day surveillance but none of them exhibited any symptoms or signs of the fever.
Government also said that there is round the clock surveillance going on across all the local governments in the state to make sure that the people are protected, prevented and safe from the disease.
Government therefore directed that people should be on red alert and take necessary and proactive interest in what goes on around them so as to report any strange symptoms to the authorities on time.
The statement said inter alia: “It is to be clearly stated that currently there is no confirmed case of Lassa fever outbreak anywhere in the State of Osun.
“However, a corpse was brought from Lagos for burial in Osun. The case is linked with the three doctors also confirmed positive in Lagos. As at the time the corpse was released for burial after autopsy had been carried out, the laboratory result was not out.
“The result however came out as Lassa fever positive, after the corpse was buried . The state Ministry of Health however, put all the relatives of the said case on 21 days surveillance, and none showed any positive sign.
“Active surveillance is ongoing by the State and LGA team and all concerned
Lassa fever is an acute viral infection. The virus is transmitted from the faeces and urine of rats when they come in contact with food and the food is eaten.
This disease is associated with bleeding and can affect any age group.
“The incubation period, that is, the time from when contact is made with the virus and when its effects start to show on the body, is between 3 to 21 days.
Any person with severe illness, fever and at least one of the following signs: Bloody stools, vomiting blood and unexplained bleeding from gums, nose, private parts, skin and eyes should immediately go to a hospital.
“Any person who has unexplained illness with fever and bleeding OR died after unexplained severe illness with fever and bleeding should report or be reported to the nearest government hospital or health centre.
“The state government has put a surveillance system in place at all LGAs and State EPR Committee.
Residents are therefore required to be vigilant, maintain the highest hygiene standard possible, avoid contact with those affected and report illnesses and deaths emanating from the disease to hospitals and government health centres.
“More importantly, we should keep all food away from contamination from rats; and keep rats and other rodents from our homes or other places where they can come in contact with our food.”

We Don’t Have Outbreak of Lassa Fever In Osun

The State of Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has given assurance that the state doesn’t have any record of outbreak of Lassa fever.

 

This was contained in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure on Wednesday.

 

According to the statement, it is to be clearly stated that currently there is no confirmed case of Lassa fever outbreak anywhere in the State.

 

Meanwhile, the statement also debunked speculations surrounding one of the corpses of infected doctors who died of lassa fever in Lagos which was brought to Osun for burial.

 

The statement stated, “As at the time the corpse was released for burial after autopsy had been carried out, the laboratory result was not out. The result however came out as Lassa fever positive, after the corpse was buried. The state Ministry of Health however, put all the relatives of the said case on 21 days surveillance, and none showed any positive sign. Active surveillance is ongoing by the State and Local Government Area team and all who are concerned.

 

“Residents are therefore required to be vigilant, maintain the highest hygiene standard possible, avoid contact with those affected and report illnesses and deaths emanating from the disease to hospitals and government health centres. More importantly, we should keep all food away from contamination from rats; and keep rats and other rodents from our homes and where they can come in contact with our food.

 

“Any person who has unexplained illness with fever and bleeding or died after unexplained severe illness with fever and bleeding should report or be reported to the nearest government hospital or health centre.

No Outbreak of Lassa Fever In Osun – Aregbesola 

The State of Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has given assurance that the state doesn’t have any record of outbreak of Lassa fever.

 

This was contained in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure on Wednesday.

 

According to the statement, it is to be clearly stated that currently there is no confirmed case of Lassa fever outbreak anywhere in the State.

 

Meanwhile, the statement also debunked speculations surrounding one of the corpses of infected doctors who died of lassa fever in Lagos which was brought to Osun for burial.

 

The statement stated, “As at the time the corpse was released for burial after autopsy had been carried out, the laboratory result was not out. The result however came out as Lassa fever positive, after the corpse was buried. The state Ministry of Health however, put all the relatives of the said case on 21 days surveillance, and none showed any positive sign. Active surveillance is ongoing by the State and Local Government Area team and all who are concerned.

 

“Residents are therefore required to be vigilant, maintain the highest hygiene standard possible, avoid contact with those affected and report illnesses and deaths emanating from the disease to hospitals and government health centres. More importantly, we should keep all food away from contamination from rats; and keep rats and other rodents from our homes and where they can come in contact with our food.

 

“Any person who has unexplained illness with fever and bleeding or died after unexplained severe illness with fever and bleeding should report or be reported to the nearest government hospital or health centre.

Lagos Govt Assures Containment Of Lassa Fever In Nigeria

Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, in collaboration with Lagos State government, has assured residents of Lagos State and Nigeria at large that the recent Lassa fever outbreak is under control and there is no cause for alarm.

Chief Medical Director (CMD), LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, who spoke at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday, said there was need to inform the public that the hospital is committed to control the epidemic.

Bode noted that the last two cases of the epidemic managed in LUTH arrived from outside facilities, adding that a 32-year-old lady came with bleeding complications of pregnancy on July 25 and died the same day because she had a post-mortem examination performed on July 27. Result of viral studies came out positive for Lassa fever on July 29.

He said the second male client with known sickle cell anaemia came in on Saturday, August 5 and died the same day. Meanwhile, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus in Lagos, the state government has called on residents to be calm and not panic even as it assured the people of working with the Federal Government to contain it.

Director, Disease Control, Lagos State, Dr. Eniola Erinsho and Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, said the state government is committed to ensuring that people are safe.

They advised residents to keep their environment clean to avoid contact with rats and handle their refuse dumps properly to avoid new cases. Onanuga, in a statement yesterday, said the government is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected, adding that isolation centres have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases while drugs and other materials have also been prepositioned at designated facilities.

The special adviser, who confirmed five cases of the disease, stated that two deaths had been recorded, noting that the remaining three patients are responding to treatment in designated isolation centres.

He said the health personnel who came in direct contact with the patients were still being followed up for early signs of Lassa fever, adding that three health workers who developed symptoms had tested positive and were on admission receiving treatment in an isolation ward in LUTH.

Onanuga stressed the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease in the state.

He also stated that Lassa fever, an acute viral infection caused by the Lassa virus, is associated with persistent high fever, adding that as the disease progresses into a severe form, the patient begins to develop facial swelling, fluid in the chest, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina and the gut, low blood pressure, shock, disorientation, coma and kidney and liver failure.

According to him, other usual symptoms include general weakness of the body, malaise headache, sore throat, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.

He, therefore, advised Lagos residents to report suspected case or cases of the disease symptoms or persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever to the nearest health facility.

Also, he urged Lagosians to contact the Directorate of Disease Control in the state Ministry of Health or the following telephone numbers 08022234273, 08037170614 and 08023169485 for further clarifications on the disease.

8 Die of Lassa Fever in Nasarawa

The Nasarawa State Government has said that no fewer than eight people have so far died following the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

Dr Ibrahim Adamu, the Director of Public Health in the state’s Ministry of Health, made this disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lafia.

Adamu said: “Of the 11 confirmed cases recorded since the index case in November 2016, eight have died while three others are responding to treatment at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia.

“The three survivors in DASH are recovering very fast, two of them will be completing their treatment today – Tuesday to be discharged while the other will complete his treatment by the weekend’’.

Adamu also said that the number of people, who had contact with the patients and were being monitored, had risen to 82 from 66.

“All those identified contacts now under surveillance, have been placed on oral drugs and we monitor their temperature twice daily,’’ he added.

He said the State Government had shown commitment towards fighting the outbreak by providing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and drugs for the treatment of the disease.

According to him, the insinuation that health personnel are complaining of not having access to PPE is not true as the State Government has provided adequate PPEs to the hospitals.

He explained that the PPE was meant to be given only to the health personnel giving service to the affected patients.

“There is a lot of anxiety for the disease, which makes everybody in any hospital where there is a confirmed case to want to wear the PPE.

“However, there is also a clear method of the transmission of the disease that people should be aware of and when the need to wear the PPE arises,’’ he said.

Adamu said that in order to allay the fear on the spread of the disease at the hospital, some wards at DASH had been designated as isolation centres for the Lassa fever patients.

He added that the State Government had also approved the creation of a disease isolation centre along Shinge road in Lafia.

Adamu said that fund was appropriated for the project in the 2017 budget and it had been defended by the ministry before the State House of Assembly

NAN

LUTH Discharges Lassa Fever Patient

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi – Araba, on Friday said that it had discharged its Lassa fever patient who had been in isolation for four weeks.

A statement which was signed by the Information Officer of LUTH said that the patient had now tested negative to the Lassa fever virus after weeks of receiving treatment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first case of Lassa fever in Lagos was diagnosed at the LUTH on Jan. 15.

It was a 25-year-old student of the Ahmadu Bello University, in Zaria, Kaduna State, who had contacted the virus before he came to visit his parents at Ifako-Ijaiye area of Lagos State.

He was admitted in a private hospital at Ifako-Ijaiye on Jan. 9 and was transferred to LUTH on Jan.15 on an account of developing symptoms of fever, sore throat and body ache.

The medical personnel in LUTH had run a blood test on him of which confirmed that he had Lassa fever.

The statement said, “It is gladdening to note that the patient has fully recovered and has been discharged having tested negative for Lassa fever virus.

“When the case was reported, the Lagos State and Federal Governments were intimated and they gave a quick response by providing logistic support including providing the drug (ribavirin) for Lassa fever.

“The hospital also mobilised its team of specialists including nurses, virologists and medical microbiologists.

“The patient was managed in an Isolation Centre with other drugs and adequate infection control measures put in place.

“These included contact tracing and monitoring,’’ it said.

The statement said that the management of the hospital applauded the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control and the Lagos State Government for their quick intervention.

According to it, the LUTH is probably one of the first hospitals in the South West that has successfully admitted, managed and discharged a Lassa fever patient in this current outbreak.

The statement called on multinational companies, corporate bodies and individuals to support and partner with LUTH to ensure efficient health care delivery to the country.

Yoruba Genetically Immune To Lassa Fever Virus – University Don

A university lecturer, Prof. Christian Happi, has claimed that Yoruba people, by the make-up of their genes, are immune to Lassa virus that causes Lassa fever. The researcher, who is Dean, College of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, said research was ongoing on why this is so, adding that few cases of Lassa fever recorded among Yoruba people are “imported.” Speaking on the new breakthrough on the rampaging Lassa fever, Happi, who is Director, World Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID, while speaking in Ede, said Lassa fever virus originated from Nigeria about 1,060 years ago.

He further explained that the disease spread to other West African countries about 400 years ago, stressing that Yoruba have capacity to resist the virus more than any other ethnic group in country. Happi berated the Federal Government for what he described as its “lackadaisical attitude” towards using products of several researches by scholars to tackle myriads of challenges affecting the growth and development of the nation. Noting that despite the huge amount expended on discoveries on Ebola virus by the institution, the findings remained unexplored by government and relevant institutions. He also condemned the discriminatory policy of TETFUND, which only support researchers in public tertiary institutions, even when private universities have maintained lead in research findings across the globe over the years. He stressed that, if adequately funded, private universities are capable of living beyond expectations of Nigerians in the area of research work.

On new research findings, Prof. Happi said it has been discovered that Ribavirin that is currently used to treat Lassa fever was not designed for the disease and as such, would only be effective when given in the early phase of the infection. He posited that with the discovery, ACEGID took advantage of its current knowledge of genomics technology to have better insight into the virus genome and eventually, it has been able to identify potential drug target. “Using next generation sequencing, we successfully sequenced hundreds of Lassa fever viruses, thereby generating the largest catalogue of Lassa fever virus sequenced in the world, which in turn resulted to the identification of new epitopes in the virus,” Happi concluded.

National Mirror

Lassa Fever: Ogun Victim Responds To Treatment

The health condition of the lady diagnosed to be Lassa fever patient in Ogun state is perfectly encouraging, as she is fast responding to treatment and now stable to eat and drink without any symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea.

This was the statement made by the Senior Registrar, Internal Medicine Department, ( OOUTH), Dr. Olaitan Abimbola, who is directly attending to the lady that was on admission at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu while briefing the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye on the condition of the victim.

Ipaye, who was at the teaching hospital Saturday morning to ascertain the level of response to treatment of the lady, also disclosed that the number of primary contacts to the victim has increased from 60 to 110.

He stated that the increase was due to the fact that all those that had been on admission before and after the lady in question, was brought into the two private hospitals had also been tracked down and placed under close surveillance.

The Commissioner declared that “if not for the pro-activeness of the state government and the prompt information by owners of both Central Specialist and Rubee hospitals to the Ministry of Health, the situation would have escalated.”

He added that all the 110 persons have been given a thermometer each to monitor the level of their temperature with one Surveillance Officer attached to each of them.

While thanking the two private hospitals, the Commissioner revealed that the hospitals have been decontaminated by the state health workers and would be reopening as soon as possible.

He stated that the state government regrets any indirect inconveniences the issues might have caused the hospitals.

In her response to how far the lady was responding to treatment, Dr. Olaitan Abimbola said, she was brought in with a confirmed case of Lassa fever with temperature of 39.8 degrees centigrade, adding that, by the time she was being administered the required drugs, the temperature had reduced to 38. 4.

“The persistence abdominal pain, restlessness, breathlessness have gone down drastically. She can now eat and drink with no sign of vomiting, diarrhea and no discharge from any part of the body.

“The victim has since been placed on Revavirin and other drugs and will be monitored until she has completed the 10 doses of Revavirin. Now that she is perfectly responding to treatment and no more abdominal pain, dizziness and any other complication, then, she will be handed over to the Surveillance Officer for further necessary actions,” Dr. Abimbola said.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, Dr. Nafiu Aigoro, said that the present administration in the state will never rest on its oars, considering the fact that some neighbouring states have been infected with the disease.

He said that Surveillance Officers and Health workers had been put on red alert, even before the first case was recorded in the state.

Also speaking, the Director of Public Health in the Ministry, Dr. Yusuf Qudus, confirmed that the lady was fast responding to treatment, compared to when she was brought in with so many complications.

Qudus declared that the over 100 persons under surveillance would be watched closely between 6-21 days incubation period, before they can be released to their family members.

The first case of Lassa fever was recorded in the state on 3 February, 2016.

PM News