By Mustapha Yauri
The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a new case of Yellow Fever in a young girl in Oke Owa Community, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, said the Lagos University Teaching Hospital carried out the laboratory diagnosis of the case while the Institute Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal confirmed it on Sept. 12.
The minister made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations of the ministry on Monday in Abuja.
The minister said that the State Epidemiology Team has begun investigation in the affected area and surrounding communities following the confirmation of the case.
He added that government has deployed a joint team comprising the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the World Health Organisation Country Office to the state.
According to the minister, the team will support the state in carrying out a detailed investigation and risk analysis.
“An Outbreak Control Team has been constituted to ensure rapid and coordinated decision-making,’’ he said.
Adewole also gave the assurance that all agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners would work together to support the state response programme in order to prevent further spread of the disease.
He added that a vaccination campaign would be carried out in the affected area to prevent the disease from further spread in the area.
“The most important measure to take in preventing Yellow Fever is vaccination against the disease.
“A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine, which is included in Nigeria’s routine immunisation schedule given at nine-months is free and sufficient to cover sustained protection of up to 10 years,’’ he said.
According to him, other methods of prevention included use of insect repellent, sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide treated net, ensuring proper sanitation and getting rid of stagnant water or breeding space for mosquitoes.
He said: “Even though there is no specific medicine to treat the disease, intensive supportive care is provided. Most patients would recover with appropriate care.”
He, therefore, urged health workers to be alert and maintain a high index of suspicion.
The minister, however, advised health care workers to practice universal care precautions while handling patients at all times.
The minister called for calm and advised everyone to avoid self-medication but report at the nearest health facility if feeling unwell.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected aedes mosquitoes.
Symptoms include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Some infected people may not experience any of these symptoms.
In severe cases, bleeding may occur from the mouth, nose, eyes or stomach. (NAN)