By Abiodun Azi
Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Monday said the hospital had successfully managed the Lassa fever patient in isolation ward.
Adeyemo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the patient had fully recovered and would soon be discharged.
The CMAC said that LUTH was able to curtail the spread of Lassa fever because it was prepared for it.
According to him, LUTH frontline staff members have high level of suspicion when the index case was presented at the hospital.
“The best lesson we have learnt in LUTH is to always have a high index of suspicion all the time, especially during outbreaks like this,” he said.
Adeyemo, therefore, advised the public to present to the hospital as soon as possible if anyone has symptoms suggestive of Lassa fever.
He said that nobody should press the panic button whenever a case was disovered because panic would not help anybody.
”Healthcare workers are always advised to observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients and take a travel history,’’ he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had on Feb. 19 confirmed one case of Lassa fever in Lagos, while 63 people who had direct contact with index Lassa fever case were placed under surveillance.
Abayomi said that the state Ministry of Health, through its Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health Directorate, was conducting a ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who might have been infected in line with the international standards.
He said then that the confirmed index case being isolated at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, had contact with 63 people since his arrival in Lagos from Ebonyi.
According to him, he had contact with people at the Lagos Law School, the Nigerian Air Force Clinic and LUTH. They are all being monitored.
“If they develop any symptom of Lassa fever, we will pick them up early and isolate them so that we can break the circle of transmission,” he said.
The commissioner, explaining how the index case was identified, said that the man who came from Ebonyi for a programme at the Law School, had been unwell.
According to him, he was treated at the Law School Clinic for malaria, but he did not recover.
“He was then referred to the Nigeria Air Force Clinic, Onikan, where he was further managed and was referred to LUTH when there was no improvement,” he said.
Abayomi said the man was suspected to have Lassa fever based on his point of origin and his non-response to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid.
“The test was confirmed as positive on Feb. 17, and he was immediately transferred to the Isolation Containment Facility in LUTH,” he said. (NAN)