People crowded in the city ahead of Christmas
Source: Punch

In Lagos, a new disease just splurged up. According to the Commissioner for Health; Prof. Akin Abayomi, 117 persons are already infected by the disease in five local government areas of the state and the number is on the increase should nothing be done on time. Reports gotten from health workers especially the ones in Ebutte-metta area of the state disclosed that over 168 patients have been discovered to have the ailment and that the figure could be higher because not all cases are being reported to the health care centre.

The disease is known as GASTROENTERITIS is a disease that affects the stomach or the intestines, which implies that it is simply a name for the inflammation of the stomach, or intestines. It is a viral or bacterial infection, which leads to diarrhea, abdominal pain and most times, vomiting. Symptoms may include lack of energy, dehydration, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

According to Commissioner for Health in the state, patients with this ailment are threatened with serious acute diarrhea and constant vomiting. People infected with the bacteria show signs and symptoms within 12 hours and one week after coming in contact with contaminated food or water either by eating or drinking. According to the commissioner also, the ailment affects both the young and the old and can lead to death of individual within hours if it goes untreated.

What causes Gastroenteritis?

The major causes of this disease include the following:

  • Poor Hygiene
  • Eating contaminated food
  • Drinking contaminated water

At this point, it is worthy to note that the micro-organism responsible for the cause of ailments like fever, cholera, typhoid and certain viral diseases are practically the same as the one that causes gastroenteritis. The consumption of uncooked seafood, shellfish from estuarine waters, unwashed fruits and vegetables leaves individuals prone to being infected with the disease.

What cause the widespread of the disease in Lagos?

Residents trudge in floodwater in Lagos
Source: Punch

According to the commissioner for health in the state, the rain contributed heavily to the widespread of the disease in the state. Floodwater, which came about due to the excessive rain, has become part of people’s life in Lagos. Harmful micro-organism from wastes, urine came with the flood water and people are prone to contacting any infection when the swim or walk in any of the infected water. Also, the consumption of food without proper wash of the hands or bodies leaves people open to intestinal ailments. When vendors who prepare food do so using contaminated water, they equally help in the spread of the disease.

What have the Government done so far?

According to the health commissioner in the state, with the report of the disease cases around the state, rapid response teams lead by medical practitioners around those areas were activated. Specimen (stool) for laboratory test were collected to confirm the micro-organism causing the ailment. Awareness was also created within the affected areas and the state in general to help stop the further spread of the infection.

According to the report, 109 out of the 117 reported cases of the ailment have been treated and discharged. The local government areas where the infection was detected are: Lagos Island, Mushin, Apapa, Ajeromi and Ikeja. The Lagos state government is also sensitizing members of the public about the disease, while harping on personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu visits the scene of the fire incident at Balogun Market on Lagos Island.
Source: [Twitter/@jidesanwoolu]

How to prevent contacting the disease

The following below are how you can prevent being infected with the disease.

  • Eating well cooked meals
  • Proper washing of  hands
  • Drinking clean and safe water
  • Thorough washing of fruits and vegetables before use
  • Proper dispose of waste material
  • Avoidance of open and indiscriminate defecation
  • Use of clean water containers

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