The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) says it has created additional space within the hospital to accommodate and handle any new case of Lassa fever after two patients, male and female died in the facility last week.
And in the aftermath of the outbreak of the deadly disease in Lagos, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has sent medical supplies and PPE to Lagos to management and combat its spread.
“Our Lassa fever working group meets weekly-developing protocol, deploying rapid response teams & medical supplies to states,” the Centre said on Wednesday.
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Chris Bode, who confirmed the death of the two patients, however, said they were referred to the teaching hospital from other facilities where they had earlier been admitted. According to the CMD, the victims were handled professionally and their dead bodies disposed properly in line with international standards.
He noted that aside three staff of LUTH, who handled the first victim, and got infected in the process, no new case has been recorded in the hospital, but that the management was on the lookout.
“Training has commenced and additional space has been created for any likely case from within or without the hospital. We are working closely with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja,” the management said in a statement made available to the media on Wednesday.
CMD explained that the last two cases managed in LUTH arrived from outside facilities.
“Mrs S, a 32-year-old lady came with bleeding complications of pregnancy on 25th of July, died same day and had a post-mortem examination performed on 27th July. Results of viral studies came positive for Lassa on 29th July. She was from Imota in Ikorodu.
Mr O, a known sickle cell anaemia patient came in on Saturday 5th August and died same day. He was said to have travelled to one of the neighbouring states before coming down with the disease.
Each of these two cases had been managed in other facilities till very late before they referred to LUTH. The dead bodies were handled professionally and disposed properly according to international standards,” said the CMD.
The LUTH personnel who came in contact directly with the first patient were about 100 and they were swiftly informed. Each one of them is still being followed up for any early signs of Lassa fever.
Of the 100, 3 persons who developed symptoms tested positive and have been on isolation ward here in LUTH. They are being cared for by a crop of professionals, doctors, microbiologist, epidemiologists, pharmacists, emotional caregivers, cleaners round the clock. I want to assure that they are responding to treatment,” the CMD.
He called on members of the public to keep hygienic environment, stay off carrier animal (rats) and report suspected cases to medical facilities early enough to ensure treatment and avert deaths. The CMD commended LUTH matron and doctors from all the departments of the hospital for remaining resolute to combat the disease.