by Dolapo Adelana
The Lagos State government has revealed that two students of Queens College, Yaba, died due to high bacterial content in the school’s water system.
The Commissioner of Health Jide Idris, who made the disclosure on Thursday advised the school to delay its resumption to ensure that all sources of contaminants in the school are eliminated.
The commissioner said, “Available health records from the sick bay showed that the date of onset of illness was January 16.
“The total number of pupils at the clinic on account of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhea was 1,222 from the first date of presentation January 16 to the last date of presentation February 15.
“Nine have been discharged, two died, one is still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja and three in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.
“Water samples from six sources in the school were collected and analysed at LASUTH’s Drug Quality Control Laboratory.
“Another day of water samples from 10 sources were collected and analysed at LUTH’s Microbiology Department.”
He said results from two laboratories showed high bacterial content in the water samples from the kitchen, behind the dining hall and Queen’s Delight, the school’s water factory.
The bacteria range from Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella Ozoana and Aeromonas Hydrophila.
Idris said specimens collected from 40 kitchen staff revealed cysts of Entamoeba Histolytica were isolated in the stool of 23 food handlers, Salmonella Paratyphi, the causative agent of Typhoid fever, was also isolated from three food handlers.
“All these imply a common source (continuous) of outbreak showing repeated or continuous infection from exposure to the infectious agent.
“Findings from the investigation were consistent with Enteric Fever.
“The infection was most likely spread through contaminated water sources and infection by good handlers,” said Idris.
He said it had become pertinent to enlighten the public on good, water-borne, sanitation and hygiene related diseases.
“We advise that the resumption be delayed till appropriate measures have been put in place for the pupils’ safety.”