…70 contacts under surveillance let off
Three doctors of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH), Idi-Araba,Lagos, infected with Lassa Fever , have been discharged by the hospital after receiving treatment.
The Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode, who disclosed this in a statement made available to The Daily Times yesterday, however, said one new case was identified on Thursday from among the doctors that first had close contact with the index case- a pregnant woman who died of Lassa fever at the teaching hospital recently.
Bode said: “Three doctors admitted with confirmed Lassa Fever in LUTH have all been certified fit and discharged home because subsequent repeated tests on them showed they have now tested negative for Lassa and no longer harbor the disease.”
He also revealed that 70 of the contacts being followed up have also been let off, having completed their period of observation of 21 days.
Bode however said: “Only one new case was identified yesterday from among the doctors that first had close contact with the index case and she has already commenced treatment and is expected to recover fully very soon. Psychological and other supports have also been provided and her family contacts are closely monitored.”
The three discharged doctors were among over 150 persons that had contact with a pregnant woman who died of Lassa fever at LUTH had tested positive for the infection last week.
According to him, over 400 LUTH staff attended a grand round on Viral Hemorrhagic Fever yesterday at which various aspects of this contagious ailment were discussed.
” The importance of a high index of suspicion, early diagnosis and referral were highlighted to medical workers who were also enjoined to observe universal precautions while attending to any patient who may be suspected of having Lassa fever. There is a fully equipped response squad available round the clock to assess and take over the management of any suspected cases in LUTH”, he said.
Bode noted that various meetings have been held with doctors and other members of staff to reinforce these messages.
“Trainings have also been conducted and are ongoing for staff at the forefront of patients’ care”, he added.
He noted that both the Federal Ministry of Health and the Lagos State Ministry of Health have supported LUTH with the provision of more drugs and Personal Protective Equipment, follow up services and decontamination.
He further said that free hand sanitizers have been deployed to various wards while an NGO (Ebola Containment Trust Fund) has provided 10 telephones and airtime for the use of our Lassa Fever Response Team in LUTH.
He explained: ” The team has been beefed up by several volunteer staff who are working assiduously to overcome this dreaded disease and we are optimistic, buoyed by the successful discharge of those three doctors who had earlier tested positive.”
Bode assured the public that the disease is gradually tapering off “but we must remain vigilant while ongoing efforts are maintained to control the disease.”