Plateau Lassa fever outbreak: Staff, students of FGGC Langtang placed on surveillance


Sequel to the recent outbreak of Lassa fever at Federal Government Girls College Langtang, in Langtang North LGA of Plateau State, all the teachers, other staff and security guards at the College, who had contact with the students that tested positive have been placed on surveillance, the State government, has said.

In the same vein, all the students and neighbouring communities within the College, would also be placed on surveillance within 21 days, pending which they would be ascertained to be free.

However, the State government has also commenced tracing the parents of students who had contact with their colleagues that tested positive to the disease.

These views were expressed by the Permanent Secretary, in the State Ministry of Health, Mr Habila Gatau, while speaking to DAILYPOST Saturday night.

It would be recalled that a student of the aforementioned College, (Faith Bako), was confirmed dead, following a fresh outbreak of Lassa fever in the school.

Meanwhile, out of the four students that were tested for the disease, the results of three were positive, while the victim was said to have been buried last Friday.

The Permanent Secretary said government had embarked on the decontamination of the entire facilities in FGGC Langtang, health education officials have carried out investigation checks on all the students in the school.

“All the teachers, including the security men and all the surrounding communities, have been checked and placed on surveillance. It is the same with the medical personnel in Jos University Teaching Hospital who had contact with them during treatment.

 “We have sent officials there to go and check them and place them on surveillance, in case anything comes up.

“For the other children that are already at home, what we have decided is this. There is a 21 days latent period for the Lassa fever. I spoke with the Principal of the school and a Director in the Federal Ministry of Health. Based on advice, the students at home should not return to school and the ones in the school should not even leave because if they leave, they will be mixing with the society and they may infect people”, Habila advised.

“So, we need to keep them there until that 21 days period is over, when we can now be sure that yes, nobody else is coming with fever and it means they are clean.

“And the ones at home, before they come back, we have to put up a check on each one of them before we allow them into the school premises. Thereafter, the school can now continue again normally.”

The Permanent Secretary also said that there was no additional casualty to his knowledge because the government was already on ground in the affected College.

“They are working, they are going to decontaminate the entire school, embark on health education and carry out investigation checks on all the students in the school. By investigation, it means that there will be a thorough check on the students in school so that we can quickly take them into an isolated place and treat them. Those are some of the things we are doing in Langtang right now.

“For now, we cannot say the number of students that would be placed on surveillance because the bigger problem is that there are persons that had body contact with them”, he explained .