Measles virus outbreak takes 20 children in Lagos

By The Rainbow

The anxiety raised by the suspicious death of 20 children in Lagos has been dispelled.According to Lagos State Government, laboratory investigation has shown that measles virus was responsible for the epidemic fatal Febrile Rash Illness, FRI, which killed 20 children in Otodo Gbame Community in Eti-Osa, Lekki area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

This finding were made public by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed on Monday that the results of laboratory investigation had confirmed Measles Virus as the cause of the epidemic FRI.

“All the five blood samples taken to the Central Public Health Laboratory, Yaba tested positive for IgM, a blood marker for recent infection with Measles Virus. In addition, four throat swabs and one blood sample investigated at the Virology Reference Laboratory, LUTH indicated the presence of Measles Virus through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique.

“The result of the well water samples analysed at the Drug Quality Control Laboratory yielded several pathogens. This is an indication that the well water is not safe for human consumption,” he said.

He hinted of the state government's intervention which had led to intensive awareness creation and community mobilization as health education was embarked upon and still ongoing through meetings and community dialogues.

He added that house-to house search for cases was carried out during which 34 children were line listed as Febrile Rash Illnesses., while 587 eligible children were immunized with measles vaccine and administered with Vitamin A and the parents were requested to retain their immunization cards.

“The epidemic has been put under control as no new death has been recorded and no newly infected persons since commencement of intervention by the Ministry. Also all the 34 cases line listed and managed by the government health workers have fully recovered. However, intensive surveillance and community sensitation continues.

“You may recall that I did mention during the last press conference that the government will conduct mapping of all slums and blighted areas in the State towards reducing the health hazards associated with such areas. The process for this mapping is ongoing. The people are hereby enjoined to join hands with the government in the identification of slums and in ensuring environmental sanitation at all times,” he said.

“Members of the public and health workers are to report any strange illness to the nearest health facility or call the following lines: 08037170614, 08055281442 and 08023169485. The Lagos State Government remains committed to the protection, promotion, preservation and prolongation of health of her citizens,” he added.