August 14, 2017 – Lassa Fever Outbreak Looms In Ogun State As 106 Suspected Victims Are Placed Under Medical Watch
Ogun State Government yesterday said that the number of suspected contacts of the Lassa fever had risen to 106.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye, who disclosed this in a telephone interview, however, allayed the fear of the public
He said that the state government was putting in place necessary measures to contain the spread.
Ipaye had on Friday disclosed that no fewer than 66 persons had had contact with the patient.
NAN reports that a 22-year-old male patient (name withheld) had on Thursday been placed under medical observation at the State Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta over Lassa fever infection.
Ipaye said all the contacts had been given thermometers to measure their temperature, with health and surveillance officers of the state government deployed to monitor them daily for 21 days.
“You don’t take Lassa fever contacts to isolation centre; you only monitor their level of temperature. It is not like the Ebola disease where you take contacts to isolation centres.
“Initially we had 66 contacts when I briefed you on Friday. Between then and now, we have additional 40 contacts. So, now, we are monitoring 106 contacts.
The commissioner, however, noted that not all contacts that met the patient during his travel to the hospital had been established.
“All the 66 were care-providers in all the hospitals that he had been treated. We also had to go to his house to decontaminate it. So, everybody that lives around there is a primary contact one way or the other; just to play safe.
We have to monitor their temperature for 21 days. That was what we did for over 1,800 people we followed the other time. We had to monitor their temperature minimum of twice daily – morning and evening.
“And the contacts must come up to tell us the reading immediately. We have given all of them thermometers and we have taught them how to measure temperature.
“So, when we call them they will tell us what the temperature is in the morning and in the evening and they will do this for 21 days. If after 21 days there is no fever of any type, then that patient is discharged from our contacts.
“But if there is fever, we will take him and put him in an isolated place and do the test quickly. So, if the test is negative we will discharge him. If the test is positive, then we start treating the person.
“But we do not have any problem for now,” Ipaye said.