A case of Yellow Fever has been confirmed in Oke Owa in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, says the Federal Ministry of Health. In a press statement released on Monday, the ministry said the case was confirmed in a young girl from the community after a laboratory diagnosis at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital at the Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal on the September 12.

Following the confirmation of the case, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the State Epidemiology Team has begun investigation into the affected area and neighbouring communities. “A joint team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the World Health Organisation Country Office has been deployed to support the State in carrying out a detailed investigation and risk analysis,” he said Mr. Adewole added that an Outbreak Control Team had also been constituted to ensure rapid and coordinated decision-making. He assured the public that all the agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health and their partners would work together to support the government of Kwara to respond in order to prevent spread. Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected aedes mosquitoes. The disease is preventable, the most important measure to in prevention being vaccination against the disease. A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine is part of Nigeria’s routine immunisation schedule given to children at nine months and the dose is sufficient to confer sustained protection of up to 10 years. It is meant to be given free at all primary healthcare centres and other children immunisation point . According to fact sheets on the disease from the World Health Organization, yellow fever virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Central and South America. The international health agency said a small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms and approximately half of them die within seven to 10 days.But since the launch of the Yellow Fever Initiative in 2006, significant progress has been made in combatting the disease in West Africa and more than 105 million people have been vaccinated in mass campaigns. There is currently no specific anti-viral drug for yellow fever. Mr. Adewole said a vaccination campaign is already being planned in the affected area in Kwara State to prevent spread. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Some infected people may, however, not experience any of these symptoms. In severe cases, bleeding may occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. Other methods of prevention include using insect repellent, sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide treated net, ensuring proper sanitation and getting rid of stagnant water or breeding space for mosquitoes. Mr. Adewole advised health care workers to practise universal care precautions while handling patients at all times and also urged to be alert and maintain a high index of suspicion.

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