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Lassa fever: Lagos places LGs on alert

The Lagos State Government has ordered close monitoring of health centres and other traditional health institutions in the 57 local councils in the state.

It was gathered that the government swung into action after a fresh case of the dreaded disease was announced.

A doctor, who owned a hospital in Delta State, had reportedly been diagnosed with Lassa fever after he was referred to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, from a hospital in Delta Sate. He died in Anambra.

The Delta State Government had subsequently placed 32 persons under surveillance as the news of the dead doctor made the rounds.

Neighbouring Edo State also reactivated its response and surveillance team immediately the news broke out.

On Tuesday, the Federal Government said it was monitoring no fewer than 59 people who might have had contact with the Lassa fever victim in Delta and Anambra states.

A health official in Lagos State told our correspondent that the government decided to be proactive because Lagos, being a mega city, had been “receiving all manners of visitors from all over the country on a daily basis.”

Another government official, who pleaded not to be named because he was not authorised to speak for the state, told our correspondent that the move was routine.

He said, “The measure is routine. There is no Lassa fever case in the state. But it is better to be safe than sorry. We don’t expect any surprise from the councils.”

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, also confirmed that there was no Lassa fever case in the state.

“However, we are in touch with Delta State and monitoring the situation there.

“Meanwhile, we have activated our surveillance system in all LGAs, sent fact sheets to all health facilities and impressed on them to also increase their level of preparedness, as well as adopt standard infection control precautions.

“Public enlightenment will commence as soon as we get the necessary approval for funds,” Ayorinde added.

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