2 die of rabies in Lagos ―Commissioner

• says Queens College should remain shut over outbreak of diarrhoeal disease

LAGOS State government on Thursday revealed that two people have died of rabies disease at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

The State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, made the disclosure while briefing journalists at Alausa, Ikeja, just as he said that the state government had directed that Queens College, Yaba, diarrhea disease outbreak was recorded should remain shut until appropriate measures had been put in place for the safety of the students.

Two students of the school had been reported dead, while one is still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in critical but stable condition, according to LASUTH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Wale Oke.

Idris, while speaking on the victims of rabies, said the two victims were admitted at the teaching hospital and died of the disease on March 8 and 13, 2017 respectively.

According to him, the first victim was a 49-year-old man living at Igbogbo in Ikorodu area of the state while the second victim was a 33-year old man living in Ajara in Badagry.

Idris explained that the victim from Igbogbo was bitten by his three months old dog, who was earlier bitten by a new dog he bought six weeks before the incident.

“The two dogs were observed to be behaving abnormally and then killed. The patient was admitted at LUTH on March 8, 2017 and died within a few hours of admission,” the commissioner said.

Dr. Idris said the second victim came to LUTH on March 9, 2017 with history of restlessness, agitation, hydrophobia and aerophobia, having been bitten by a dog about six months before presentation.

“The patient was given Tetanus Toxoid after the bite and the dog was killed. The patient died on March 13, 2017,” he said.

The commissioner, who explained the causes of rabies and the treatments available for it, noted that children between the ages of 5-14 years were very vulnerable to dying of rabies because of their frequent interactions with dogs and their small size.
He cautioned parents and pet owners to undergo routine vaccination of the animal to avoid future casualties.
Speaking on the Queen College incident, the commissioner, who said investigations so far conducted showed that reported cases of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea from the school’s sick bay was as consistent with Enteric Fever, also said over 1,222 students manifested the diseases.

He enjoined all proprietors of schools in the state to ensure adequate environmental sanitation and hygiene within their school premises.

He also enjoined them to ensure provision of safe water and appropriate refuse disposal, among others.