The Enugu State Government has confirmed that Yellow Fever is the cause of deaths from a reported strange illness in Ette Uno and Umuopu communities of Enugu Ezike town in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state.
A statement by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, stated that the disease was confirmed “through verifiable diagnostic tests”.
Dr. Obi explained that “Yellow Fever is not a new disease but one of public health importance internationally and in Nigeria” adding that “It is one of the diseases controlled for in the Nigerian set of routine and mass immunizable diseases.”
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 Health 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 Igboeze North LGA, and prevent its spread in Enugu State”.
His words: “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 mosquitoe, 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”.