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The special edition of the February Grand Round titled 'Preparedness for Lassa Fever & 2019 Novel Coronavirus, held yesterday at the Malaria Research Centre (MRC) Auditorium, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). This vital topic was extensively tackled by three keynote speakers. They are Dr. Bamidele Mutiu, Consultant, Medical Microbiology & Parasitology; Dr. Yetunde Kuyinu, Associate Prof/Consultant Public Health and Dr. Abdus-Salam, State Epidemiologist, Lagos State Ministry of Health.

In delivering his note, Dr. Mutiu said that surveillance is important to curb the spread of the disease and advised that health workers should observe standard infection prevention and control measures when attending to patients.

Dr. Kuyinu emphasized, during her session, on the preventive measures against Lassa Fever which include proper storage of food in rodent-proof containers, cleaning the home thoroughly, trapping and killing rodents properly and safe disposal of carcasses. She stressed further on the avoidance of dead animals, safe handling of sick animals and absolute avoidance of rodents as food source. According to her, ‘Lassa fever is the commonest form of viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) and VHFs is a group of illnesses caused by several distinct families of viruses that affect humans and non-human primates with severe multi-systemic syndrome characterized by diffuse vascular damage.”

She also noted that transmission of Lassa virus to humans occurs most commonly through ingestion or inhalation, contact with excreta, contaminated materials and aerosol transmission. Dr. Kuyinu said supportive drug therapy including: painkillers, antiemetic for vomiting, anxiolytic for agitation, antibiotics and/or antimalarial drugs, antiviral drug ribavirin can be given early in course of the disease.

Dr. Abdus-Salam, the State Epidemiologist noted that any reported case should first be treated as Pathogen S and proper precaution should be taken. He pointed out that the Lagos State Government is not folding its arms and steps are being taken towards preparedness to tackle the scourge if the need arises. He said inter-ministerial meetings have been held and effort are being made to focus on the bio-security preparedness in the Lagos State health sector. He added that all hands are on deck in the health sector to prevent any deadly disease that could want to invade Lagos because of the vulnerability of the State.

Pharmacist F.O. Ogunbiyi, the Coordinator, LASUTH Grand Round thanked the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo, for his support and for making the seminar become a success. He also thanked everyone for coming.

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