5 Feb 2016

KINGSLEY IGWE

Ogun Confirms First Lassa Fever Case, Places 60 People Under Watch


The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, on Thursday said the state had recorded the first case of Lassa fever.

Ipaye said this during a press conference held at Oke Mosan in Abeokuta, thestate capital.

He identified the index case in the state as a 28-year-old lady, “discovered on Wednesday February 3 at 8:10pm.”

Ipaye said the victim had travelled to Ebonyi for a burial and returned to Ogun on January 15, and later started manifesting the symptoms of the viral disease.

He said, “The victim had accessed treatment at Ruby Medical Centre, Ota. She was said to have been moved another hospital, Central Specialist Hospital, Ota. It was the management of the Central Specialist Hospital that called the state Ministry of Health.”

“We moved in immediately and took her in. We have shut the two health facilities for decontamination.”

Ipaye said the victim had been transferred to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, one of the isolation centres for the disease. 

He added, “The confirmatory test was done and the result came in last night. We started emergency procedures immediately and she has been moved to the isolation centre in Sagamu.

“She has been given the drug, ribavirin and still under observation. She has had fever and other symptoms but have not started bleeding.

“She has passed through two private hospitals, which have now been shut for decontamination.”

Ipaye also said 60 persons who had contact with the victim in the two health facilities including three members of her family were under watch.

He said the first 35 contacts were health workers in the first hospital, 22 in the second one and three others were family members of the victim.

He said, “These 60 people have been placed under surveillance, but I want to appeal to the residents not to panic. They must be vigilant and maintain good hygiene in their homes.”

Ipaye commended the management of the Central Specialist Hospital for its patriotism in contacting the government and saving the state from the scourge of Lassa fever.

The state government had on Tuesday January 26, raised the alarm on 19 suspected cases of the Lassa fever who had contact with the first index case in Ahmadiyyah Hospital, Ijaiye in Ojokoro Local Government Area of Lagos but live in Ogun State.

Ipaye, however, said all the 19 persons have been declared free of the disease, “because they did not manifest the symptoms of the disease, not even of malaria fever.”

KINGSLEY IGWE

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