By Ikechukwu Odu
NSUKKA- Enugu State Government on Saturday, confirmed that yellow fever was responsible for the strange death of 57 persons at Ette, and Umuopu communities, both in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
A statement by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, stated that the disease was confirmed through verifiable diagnostic tests.
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Though, he said the disease was one the public health importance in the nation, he explained that it was one of the immunizable diseases in Nigeria and other African countries, adding that Enugu is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and other nearby states to check it from spreading.
According to him “a suspected case is anyone with a sudden onset of fever who develops jaundice (yellowness of the eyes) within 14 days it is verifiable by diagnostic tests”.
The Commissioner, therefore, disclosed that “the Enugu State Ministry of Health has called for an immediate Emergency Operations Centre Meeting this morning at 10am, with representatives from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other implementing partners in the state, to articulate specific next steps to effectively respond to and control this disease in the council area, and prevent its spread in Enugu State.”
He also said “We are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and with nearby states to prevent its spread within Nigeria. The General Hospital, Enugu Ezike, and other hospitals in the state are prepared to provide the supportive treatment needed for yellow fever.
“It is transmitted by the aedes or haemogogus specie of mosquitoes, causes symptoms within 3 – 6 days of infection, which range from a mild febrile illness in some individuals to a more toxic illness that can, unfortunately, lead to death in others. Only 15 percent of infected persons enter this toxic phase.
“This is a time to continue in earnest the hygienic practices that we have become used to due to the COVID -19 pandemic, while now improving our environmental hygiene practices; keep our surroundings clean and free of overgrown bushes, ensuring that we do not allow containers and gutters around us to collect water for long periods which allows mosquitoes to breed. We should protect our homes by screening doors and windows with nets, and ourselves by sleeping under mosquito nets and wearing clothes that limit mosquito bites.
“Most of all, if you recognize the above symptoms in yourself or a loved one, please visit the nearest hospital”.
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