Dr Jide Idris, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health has called on residents of the state to observe high standards of both personal and environmental hygiene as preventive measures against Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM).
In a statement on Monday signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Adeola Salako, the Commissioner warned that the disease is deadly. He said that no case of CSM had been reported in the state as against what had been published. He went further to explain that it was however necessary to alert the public about the disease.
The Commissioner strongly cautioned residents of the state to avoid overcrowding in living quarters, stay in well-ventilated sleeping and work rooms and to frequently wash their hands with soap and water. He also encouraged the residents to get vaccinated with CSM vaccines when traveling to places where outbreaks of the disease have been reported.
“CSM is a dangerous and life threatening disease that affects the thin layers of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord of an infected human and it is caused by bacteria. It is an epidemic- prone disease that spreads from person to person through contact with discharges or droplets from nose and throat of an infected person. It can also be transmitted through kissing, sneezing and coughing, especially among people living in close quarters, hotels, refugee camps, barracks, public transportation and areas with poor ventilation or overcrowded places”, the Commissioner said.
He noted that although seasonal meningitis outbreaks are peculiar to Northern states that fall within the meningitis belt of the country, it is not impossible that outbreaks could occur in any other part of the country.
He disclosed that the disease surveillance and monitoring activities have been intensified and all health workers in the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas have been placed on high alert.
He advised health workers to avoid close contact with suspected and likely cases of CSM and to properly dispose respiratory and throat secretions of cases. He also advised them to report suspected or likely cases, observe universal safety precautionary measures and make use of personal protective equipment when in contact with such cases as highlighted in the Fact-sheets earlier forwarded to them.
He told residents to take responsibility for their health and report persons with symptoms of the disease to the nearest public health facility or the Ministry of Health.