Lassa Viral fever kills 2 in LUTH, doctor critically ill

The two victims died during the weekend, while a medical officer of LUTH is critically ill.

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Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASU) play

Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASU)

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Two people have reportedly died from Lassa fever while receiving treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

The story first emerged on Monday, August, 7, 2017, when Twitter user, @SeunOgungbure, posted with his account, "There's an outbreak of Lassa Fever in LUTH. Two dead and a Medical Officer is critically ill at the moment."

 

Mr. Seun Ogungbure, who works at a diagnostic center in Surulere that gets patients from LUTH, confirmed to Pulse Nigeria in a private chat that the Accident and Emergency unit of the hospital, as well as a few other units, has been shut down due to the incident.

"It's very rare that they would close down the A&E if it wasn't something serious," he said.

He said after contacting medical staff working at the institution, it was revealed that two victims died during the weekend, while a medical officer is critically ill.

"It's not an airborne disease, but one that can be passed by physical contact," he said.

Pulse contacted a senior medical staff that works at LUTH to comment on the story, but he said, "I don't know anything about that. You can talk to the PR department."

Another doctor that works with the hospital confirmed the story, although he said he's only aware of one casualty.

He also said, "There's a surveillance team at the hospital now to handle any other patients."

The management of the hospital finally confirmed the story on Tuesday, August 8, as Chief Medical Director, Prof. Chris Bode, revealed that the two victims presented their symptoms too late to do anything to help them.

He said, "Each of these two patients presented very late and died in spite of efforts to salvage them.

"The first was a 32-year old pregnant lady with bleeding disorder who died after a stillbirth. Post-mortem examination had been conducted before her Lassa Fever status was eventually suspected and confirmed.

"No less than 100 different hospital workers exposed to this index case are currently being monitored."

He also confirmed that the critically ill staff of the hospital is a resident doctor from the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology.

He contracted the viral hemorrhagic fever after performing autopsy on the dead victims, and is currently on admission at the isolation ward of the hospital.

Despite confirming that there are currently two other suspected cases of the virus, Prof. Bode also pleaded for members of the public not to panic as the state's Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health are doing their best to contain the situation.

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."

The viral hemorrhagic fever is spread by rats and leads to death in extreme cases.

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