The Lagos state government has confirmed the death of 20 children from

Speaking to newsmen, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said “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, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), indicated the presence of measles virus through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique.”

Adding that “This is due to mass emigration to Lagos from neighbouring states; several new communities had emerged and settled in some rural far-to-reach areas in the state.

“This is without the knowledge of the state government and because the areas are unplanned, there may not be proper potable water supply for drinking and toilet facilities for urination and defecation.”

Idris also said “Besides, there are several cases of open defecation in the area and the only source of drinking water was contaminated with bacteria, resulting in both infection and spread of diseases.

“However, during the last measles vaccination that took place nationwide, children in that area were later covered and appropriately immunised.”

The commissioner added that “The state government is conducting mapping of all slum areas in the state toward reducing the health hazards associated with such areas.

“All citizens should continue to practise health promotion and disease prevention measures including basic environmental sanitation, proper disposal of refuse and avoiding open defecation.

“Practise regular hand washing with soap; all pregnant women should attend antenatal care, while all children should be immunised against deadly vaccine-preventable childhood disease.”

Initial signs and symptoms typically include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes.