Delta govt. refutes outbreak of meningitis

Delta govt. refutes outbreak of meningitis

The Delta State Government has dispelled as rumour reports of an alleged outbreak of the cere-brospinal meningitis in some parts of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, told newsmen on Thursday in Asaba, that reports of an outbreak of the disease in the state was false, he however confirmed three suspected cases.

“There is no outbreak of meningitis in Delta state as being alleged by some media reports; what we have is just three cases of suspected cerebral meningitis and that can not be said to be an outbreak.

“Going by the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard, there can only be an outbreak of a disease when there is a record of five cases in every one hundred thousand people within a week,” Azinge said.

The commissioner said that the three suspected cases are two at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba and one at the Central Hospital, Warri.

He said, “of the two suspected cases at the FMC, Asaba, one has been confirmed as caused by Neisseria meningitidis, the organism that is associated with meningitis outbreaks.

“The second case is yet to be confirmed because of certain complications the patient has.”

According to Azinge, the case in Warri was confirmed to have been caused by Streptococcus pneumonia, the organism hardly associated with outbreaks.

He said the patients in the unconfirmed cases in Asaba and in Warri responded satisfactorily to treatment and have since been discharged and gone home.

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The commissioner noted that currently, there was only one case of the suspected disease, which he said was being managed at the FMC, Asaba.

On government response to the suspected cases, Azinge said the State Ministry of Health through its Rapid Response Team (RRT), has been coordinating the state’s response to contain the spread of the disease.

He said the rapid response team was currently following up the remaining case at FMC Asaba and also keeping in touch with the two discharged cases.

“Also, all the LGAs Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNOs), have been directed to intensify awareness creation on prevention and to heighten surveillance and reporting to guide policy decisions.

“Arrangements have also been concluded with the Paediatrics Departments of Central Hospital Warri, DELSUTH, Oghara, and the FMC, Asaba, to send experienced medical doctors for intervention,” Azinge said.

He said the experienced doctors would help carryout Lumbar Puncture and collect samples for suspected cases of the disease and to update the skills of medical officers in various hospitals in this regard.

He said hospitals and health centres across the state have been directed that once they identified a suspected case of cerebrospinal meningitis, it should be referred to the nearest General Hospital.

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He explained further that when such referrals are made, it would enable the General Hospital collect samples and commence immediate treatment, which was free .

Azinge urged the general public to be vigilant and report to the nearest hospital in the event of identifiable signs and symptoms of the disease.

He listed some of the symptoms of the disease to include, constant coughing, fever and severe headache.

The commissioner said that health workers in the state are currently being sensitised on the Cerebrospinal Meningitis.

He said that health workers in the LGAs have also commenced active case search and border patrols in their various LGAs.

He said that collaboration was ongoing with the Hospitals Management Board (HMB), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), WHO and relevant professional associations to curtail the spread of the disease.

Azinge appealed to the public to remain calm as the disease was preventable and curable.(NAN)

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