By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Residents of Lagos have been advised to take preventive actions against Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) as a new strain is spreading.
The state government warned that because no case of CSM has yet been reported in the state makes it immune to the disease now ravaging some states in the country.
“Cerebrospinal Meningitis 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,” Dr. Jide Idris, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, explained.
He added that 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 sanitation or overcrowded places.
Idris while alerting members of the public concerning the seriousness os , urged them to report any suspected case to the nearest public health facility.
He pointed out that a new strain of CSM causative agent, Neisseria Meningitides type which is slightly different from the causative agent of the seasonal CSM in Nigeria has affected some states in the country.
The commissioner for health said that though seasonal, meningitis outbreak usually affects the mainly northern states that fall within the meningitis belt of the country.
“It is not impossible that outbreak can occur in any part of the country, Lagos State inclusive,” Idris declared.
He gave reasons for his assertion, saying it is in view of the phenomenal climatic change as well as the high human migration.”
No case of CSM has been recorded in Lagos State contrary to what has been published.
CSM presents as symptoms: high body temperature, pain and stiffness of the neck, headache, vomiting, fear of light, restlessness and confusion, Idris explained, stressing that death may occur if not promptly and properly managed.
He emphasized the significance of observing high standard of personal and environmental hygiene as preventive measures against the disease.
Such measure, he elaborated, include frequent washing of hands with soap and water, avoiding direct contact with infected persons, and covering of mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
The health commissioner said: “It is strongly advised for people to avoid overcrowding in living quarters, provide cross-ventilation in sleeping and work rooms, and other places where people come together.”
Moreover, he told Lagosians to “get vaccinated with CSM vaccine when you are travelling to areas where meningitis outbreaks have been reported.