Two patients have died of Lassa fever at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos.
LUTH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Chris Bode also confirmed that a resident doctor who carried out an autopsy on one of the deceased persons was infected and had begun receiving treatment at the hospital’s isolation ward.
Prof Bode identified the first victim of the new Lassa fever outbreak as a 39-year-old pregnant woman who had a bleeding disorder following a still birth while the second victim was simply described as a patient who died within a few days of being admitted to the hospital.
“Each of these two patients presented very late and died in spite of efforts to save them. Post-mortem examination had been conducted before Lassa fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed.
“No less than 100 different hospital workers exposed to the index case are currently being monitored,” Prof Bode said.
The CMD, however, urged patients and health workers at the teaching hospital not to panic as, according to him, there are relevant drugs and resources to prevent an outbreak or spread of the disease within the health facility.
He said the state Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health had sent personnel and experts to assist with the tracing and follow-up of contacts in addition to managing suspected cases.
He said, “There are adequate materials for containing the disease while drugs have been made available to treat anyone confirmed with it. The Centre for Disease Control in Nigeria has also been contacted. Two other suspected cases from Lagos State are also currently admitted and quarantined while undergoing confirmatory laboratory tests.
“LUTH has always worked closely with officials of the state Ministry of Health in handling a number of diseases of public concern such as rabies, cholera, Lassa fever and the recent diarrhoea disease at Queen’s College.”