The Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jide Idris have informed the public of an outbreak of febrile rash illnesses (FRI) that has been recorded in Otodo Gbame community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, killing over 20 children with 34 other cases under close examination.
He said the outbreak was first identified by the Medical Officer of Health of the LGA on 9th February, 2016.
The victims are said to be within the ages of 8 and 72 months.
Dr. Idris said his ministry has already notified the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the situation as well as constituted a team of Epidemiologists to investigate the outbreak and institute appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the disease.
Although the disease causing the outbreak is yet to be confirmed, “the signs and symptoms are suggestive of Febrile Rash Illnesses.”
Blood samples (and throat swabs) from the patients and water samples from the community have been taken to the Virology Reference Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory (DQCL), LASUTH, Ikeja respectively. The source of the infection is still under investigation.
The Otodo Gbame community is an expansive, sandy riverine, flood prone and camp-lie settlements with an estimated population of 100,000 people who are mainly Egun, however there are other tribes in the minority. The community is a slum with waste deposited at different spots. There are many scattered shallow wells in the community. The water from the wells is found to be used mostly for bathing, washing and cooking. Majority of the citizen claimed it is not used for drinking but a few said they sometimes drink from the well. The community head Chief Hunpe Dansu confirmed the outbreak of the Febrile Rash illnesses.
He enjoined the people to join hands with the government in the identification of slums and in ensuring environmental sanitation at all times advising members of the public and health workers to report any strange illness to the nearest health facility or call the following numbers – 08037170614, 08055281442 and 08023169485.