A 22-year-old male patient has been tested positive for Lassa fever at the Ogun State General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta.
The patient, whose name was not given, was said to have returned from a trip to Lagos and came down with the symptoms.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, who confirmed this to Punch on Thursday, said the patient had been placed under watch.
Ipaye said: “We have a case of a 22-year-old male patient who is resident here (Abeokuta), but, he travelled to Lagos and returned with fever. He is currently at the state General Hospital, Ijaiye where he is under medical observation.
“We have carried out the first test. The first sample was positive. It showed some reactions, we need to do another confirmatory test. We are doing everything to see whether it is a confirmed case. The patient’s temperature was high yesterday (Wednesday) but, today (Thursday), it has reduced considerably.
“By tomorrow (today), we should be able to confirm whether it is Lassa fever or not. Meanwhile, the patient has been isolated.”
The commissioner, however, said the government had begun preventive measures against the infection.
Two persons, including a 32-year-old pregnant woman, have died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, after being treated for Lassa fever.
Three LUTH workers have tested positive to the disease while over 120 hospital workers, who were exposed to the index case, including a resident doctor, are currently under surveillance.
The Director, Disease Control, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Eniola Erinosho, said the corpse of the second Lassa fever victim that died at LUTH, had been buried in an undisclosed location in Lagos.
He confirmed this development on Thursday.
The victim, identified as Mr. Hope, a known sickle cell anaemia patient, died few hours after he was admitted to LUTH on August 5.
He said health officials from the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit carried out the process of decontaminating the body in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines for such cases.
Erinosho said: “We buried him yesterday (Wednesday). In fact, the van we used to convey the corpse has also been sanitised in accordance with WHO guidelines after consent was obtained from the family. “
He added that none of the 22 contacts that were under surveillance from the private hospitals who were the index cases and who were initially treated had shown any symptoms of the disease while the health workers who tested positive were being adequately managed at the Isolation Ward in LUTH.
Erinosho said: “We don’t have a new infection as of now but what we need to do is complete the monitoring of those that are under surveillance. Again those on treatment we want to make sure that they don’t manifest any symptom, that is when we can effectively say we have contained the infection, but presently we are in the process.”