The Lagos State Government on Thursday attributed the death of two students and the hospitalization of several others at Queens College, Lagos to enteric fever spread through contaminated water.
Enteric Fever is also known as Typhoid Fever, which is spread by contaminated water.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who spoke at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria said investigation carried out by the Lagos Ministry of Health and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, showed that the water in the school had been seriously contaminated.
The commissioner stated that available health records from sick bay of the school indicated that the date of illness was 16 January, 2017 and that the total number of students who presented at the clinic on account of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea was 1,222 from the first day of presentation to the last date of presentation.
According to him, 16 ill cases were admitted in various hospitals, saying that nine had been discharged, two dead, while one was still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of LASUTH and three in LUTH.
Idris disclosed that water samples from six sources in the school premises were collected and analysed, while another set of water samples from 10 sources were collected and analysed at the Microbiology Department of LUTH, Idi-Araba.
“The results from two laboratories showed high bacteria content in the water samples from the kitchen, behind dinning hall and Queen’s delight, the school water factory. The bacteria range from Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella Onoana and Aeromonas hydrophila,’ he said.
The commissioner said from all evidence from data collected, a common source of outbreak was traceable to exposure to the infectious water agent, adding that findings from investigation were consistent with enteric fever.
“The infection was most likely spread through contaminated water sources and infection by food handlers,” he said, adding that when contaminated water was consumed, the micro-organisms were passed into the individual’s drinking the water.
Idris advised that the resumption of Queens College be delayed till appropriate measures had been put in place for the safety of the students.