Scientists Close To Quicker Lassa Fever Diagnosis

lassa feverThe leader of a group of scientists says tackling the outbreak of Lassa Fever might be closer than imagined as his team has come up with a diagnosis that can diagnose Lassa fever virus within ten minutes.

‎Professor Christian Happi disclosed this at a forum in Ede, Osun State while speaking on new discoveries on Lassa virus.

Professor Christian Happi said that the new discoveries include a ten-minute rapid diagnostic test, neutralizing antibodies that inhibit Lassa fever virus while vaccines for the treatment of the virus are being worked upon.

He disclosed that using next generation sequencing, the research team has identified a signal of natural selection in human gene called LARGE in the Yoruba populations of southwest Nigeria that may be associated with protection to Lassa Fever Virus.

With careful hypothesis, Prof Happi believes that this could be key to the future Lassa Fever Vaccine.

Happi added that Africa needs to produce more scientists that will deal with emerging trends in health related issue.

Lassa Fever: Lagos Govt. Urges Residents To Remain Calm

Lassa feverThe Lagos State Government has called on residents of the state to remain calm as it is doing everything possible to control the spread of the Lassa fever virus.

Speaking to Channels Television today in Lagos the Deputy Director of Health Education at the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Omowunmi George, said that the hospital where the only victim of the virus is being treated will remain under surveillance until further notice.

She explained efforts being made by the state government to prevent the spread of the virus. “What they have done is to contain all those people (that had contact with the hospital) by the time he was moved.

“There were still some people there, as at the time it was confirmed that this is Lassa fever, we had to move in quickly to ensure that those who were still there are kept there so that they do not go out again and start spreading it (that is if they have it anyway.

She explained that the possibility of the patient having contacted the disease in Lagos was slim, “The way it is presenting does not look like he got it in Lagos,” she said.

“Do not forget also that many of the northern states are actually recording cases of Lassa fever. He came into Lagos, I think on the 9th, (of January) and it was less than one week that he was in Lagos that he reported sick, so it means that it could not have been in Lagos.

She warned that it is impossible to completely get rid of rats in the community but called for de-ratisation to help reduce their population.

She added, however, “We are happy to tell everybody that there is only one case, up till now, it is still one case and the only case is still stable because he is undergoing treatment.

 

Lassa Fever: Ahmmadiyyah Hospital In Lagos Sealed

lassa feverThe Ahmmadiyyah Hospital in the Ojokoro area of Lagos State where the patient diagnosed with the first case of Lassa fever visited before going to LUTH is now under surveillance and sealed off from the public until further notice.

According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, 15 in-patients, as well as 25 health workers in the facility are being monitored for the next 21 days.

Dr. Idris added that contact tracing is ongoing and there are currently 92 contacts being followed up including those at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

The patient, a 25 year old male undergraduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, is presently being managed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and his condition is stable.

The first case of Lassa fever was confirmed in Lagos on Friday. The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, disclosed this to Channels Television.

Lassa Fever Confirmed In Lagos

Lassa fever One case of Lassa fever has been confirmed in Lagos.

The case, which was diagnosed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, involves a 25-year-old student from the Ahmadu Bello University.

The patient is said to have been admitted first at a private hospital in Ojokoro area of Lagos State.

According to the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, the patient is responding to treatment.

The death of a Lassa Fever victim at the National Hospital in Abuja, the nation’s capital, had brought the total number of deaths to 43 in the country, from 10 states.

Announcing the death at the National Hospital on Wednesday, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, called on Health workers at all levels to be more vigilant and look out for patients with symptoms of Lassa Fever.

Symptoms Of Lassa Fever

The Minister advised residents of affected states not to panic but to maintain high level vigilance and present themselves for test if they feel unhealthy or they feel symptoms of Lassa Fever which include high fever, stooling, tiredness and vomiting among others.

He cautioned that self-medication should be avoided at this period.

Doctors On Lassa Fever Spread

Medical practitioners at the Lassa Fever Research Centre at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, have said that Lassa fever has been spreading in the country because authorities have not given the disease the attention it requires.

Asides highlighting funding as a big challenge, the officials who conducted Channels Television round the foremost and only Lassa fever research institute in the country have asked the government to set up more diagnostic centres across the country.

“Since 2007, we have been making a case repeatedly for the establishment of centres of this nature in the other geopolitical zones or health zones in the country because Nigeria is a vast country.

“You don’t want a situation where patients with viral haemorrhagic fevers – Lassa fever are managed in ordinary wards and facilities. You want dedicated facilities for them.

“As we speak, sadly, I am not aware that these centre have attained any stage for replication elsewhere in the country,” said Professor George Akpede.