An outbreak of a strange killer disease, Febrile Rash Illnesses (FRI) has been recorded in Otodo Gbame community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, leaving at least 20 kids dead.
The outbreak was first identified by the Medical Officer of Health of the LGA on the 9th February, with victims within the age range of eight and 72 months.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, has identified febrile rash illness as the probable cause of death of the children, confirming that thirty-four other cases are currently under examination at a press conference in Lagos on Friday. Symptoms reportedly include a rash not unlike measles.
The cause of death is officially yet to be confirmed as the government is still expecting results of the blood and water samples sent to the Virology Reference Laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba and the Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory, Ikeja respectively.
Otodo Gbame, is a fishing community, and families live in poor conditions, with little hygiene or safe drinking water.
Dr. Jide Idris explained that the information gathered by the Ministry stated that about 24 of the 34 children died of the disease.
“The Ministry drew up a plan to investigate the outbreak, verify reported deaths and report findings and recommendations. The disease causing the outbreak has yet to be confirmed. However, the signs and symptoms are suggestive of febrile rash illnesses. We are awaiting the results from the two laboratories.
“We have notified the World Health Organisation and the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja and a team of epidemiologists have done investigations and appropriate measures have been instituted to prevent further spread of the disease,” he said.
The Ministry would dialogue with residents of the community to build confidence and guarantee the safety of their children by providing a befitting health care center.
The Commissioner also urged Lagos residents to immunize their children against vaccine-preventable diseases. Results of the laboratory investigations from the team of epidemiologists are expected this week.