Jide Idris, the Lagos state commissioner of health, has confirmed the death of 25 children as a result of an outbreak of the Febrile Rash Illnesses (FRI) in Otodo-Gbame community in Ikate, Lekki.
At a news conference in Lagos, the commissioner confirmed that there were 34 cases of sick children with FRI and added that the graves of 20 children have been identified by their parents.
“The graves of 20 children who died from the FRI since the day of onset of signs and symptoms in the first case on January 6 were identified by their parents.
“Also, 34 cases have been line listed so far with 17 males and 17 females; 17 dead patients have been identified with nine males and eight females, all are within the age range of eight and 72 months,” Idris said.
“The source of the infection is still under investigation and until we know the required source, we cannot say for sure, what is causing it.”
The unknown disease disease, which started sometime in January 2016, made the predominantly Egun community panic.
After contracting the ailment, the affected children developed rashes, which was similar to the symptoms of measles, and they died two to three days after.
Idris said that the team of epidemiologists from the state ministry of health are yet to come up with the report on the source of the strange infection, but added that the signs and symptoms of the illness suggested Febrile Rash.
“Blood samples and throat swabs from the patients and water samples from the community have been taken to the Virology Reference Laboratory.
“This is at Lagos University Teaching Hospital and Lagos State Drug Quality Control Laboratory and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja respectively.”
He, however, urged the citizenry to continue to practice health promotion and disease prevention measures.
According to him, such measures should include basic environmental sanitation, including proper disposal of refuse, and avoiding open defecation, as well as regular hand washing with soap and water, maintaining personal hygiene, adequate nutrition, and antenatal care for pregnant women.
He listed other measures as “immunisation of children against deadly vaccine and preventable childhood diseases, and regular checkups towards ensuring early diagnosis and prompt treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases.