Lagos State Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed that the two students of the prestigious Queens College who reportedly died at home after falling sick in School, died of water-borne diseases, Typhoid and cholera, which affected a total of 1222 students between January 11 and February 15.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris at a news briefing on the outcome of the findings of the investigating committee set up to unravel cause of death, also confirmed that between January 11 and February 15 when the outbreak peaked, a total of 1222 students took ill and presented at the School Clinic with abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
” The highest peak was January 31, 2017. Sixteen ill cases were admitted in various hospitals, nine have been discharged, two died, while one is still on admission at the intensive care unit of LASUTH and three in LUTH”, said Dr. Idris.
The Commissioner said following the investigations carried out on the school premises which traced the source of water- borne infectious disease to sixteen sources of water within the School premises, to food handlers in the kitchen and the dining hall, it was possible to isolate and culture bacteria range from Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella ozoana and Aeromonas hydrophila.
According to Idris, “Water samples from 6 sources in the school premises were collected and analysed at drug quality control laboratoryof Lagos State Ministry of Health at LASUTH, Ikeja. Another set of water samples from 10 sources were collected and analysed at the microbiology department of LUTH Idiaraba.
“The results of the two laboratories showed high bacterial content in the water samples from the kitchen, behind dining hall and Queens Delight, the School water factory”, said Idris.
The Commissioner also disclosed that stool specimen collected from 40 kitchen staff revealed: cysts of Entamoeba histolitica isolated in the stool of 23 food handlers and Samonella sp, the causative agent of Typhoid Feverwas isolated from three food handlers.
“All these put together, implies a common-source(continuous) outbreak showing repeated or continuous infection from exposure to the infectious agent.
“Findings from the investigations were consistent with Enteric Fever. The infection was most likely spread through contaminated water sources and infections by food handlers”, the Commissioner reported.
It is therefore uncertain that Students of Queens College Lagos will resume from the month-long mid-term break on Sunday March 19 scheduled date for resumption, unless Lagos State Government certifies the School safe for students’safety.
The Commissioner noted that recommendations on how to disinfect, sterilise, sanitise, fumigate and revamp the entire social facilities in the school have been sent to the School management “and we are aware that efforts to redress these are going on. However, we have told the School Authority that until we revisit and certify that the School environment is fit for the return of the Students, the School remains closed”.