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Delta records first case of meningitis

From Ben Dunno, Warri

Medical experts at the Central Hospital in Warri, Delta, have confirmed first case of meningitis in the state.

Making the disclosure when he briefed newsmen at the hospital premises, yesterday, the doctors explained that the observation carried out on a female patient (name withheld) who arrived the hospital with visible meningitis symptoms, was later confirmed, after examination.

A Consultant Physician at the hospital, Dr. Ngozi Chukwubeni, said the patient, who had no exposure to the meningitis-infested northern parts of the country in recent history, was taken through appropriate examinations and laboratory tests and currently responding to treatment.

“We have a female patient. She came with classical symptoms of meningitis, headache, vomiting, neck pain and stiffness. There was no history of recent travel to the meningitis belt, or exposure. We did a dumber puncture. 

“We made an assessment, clinical features and laboratory investigations when you are keeping with spinal meningitis. We placed her on antibiotics. The patient is doing very well,” she said.

Talking about steps being taken to stem the isolated case from becoming a full-blown outbreak in the state, Chukwubeni said: “There is 100 percent synergy. We cannot work in isolation. We work with government. This case has been reported. Action plan will be taken at the state level. We, on our own, are taking necessary measures to prevent further occurrence and also protect our staff from getting infected by applying basic precautionary measures.

“We (Warri Central Hospital) are going to educate our staff on meningitis, on the clinical symptoms, how to identify a case, and necessary precautionary measure to be taken while nursing our patients. We have nursed one and we did not have problems and subsequently, we would not have problems,” she said.

Also, a Consultant Gynecologist at the hospital, Dr. Stanley Nnoli, urged parents to be vigilant with their children and wards, saying ailments hitherto treated as common should henceforth be taken seriously and proper medical attention sought when ailments like fever occur.

“When a child complains or you notice anything like fever, neck pain or stiffness in your child, don’t assume it is malaria. It might no be malaria. With this outbreak of meningitis everywhere now, it is not right for us to just go to chemist shop, go to a neighbour to say my baby has fever, please treat him for malaria.

“When a baby, or even an adult complains of neck pains or has contact with somebody that just came from the North, or anyone living in an enclosed environment where there is poor ventilation, poor hygiene or over crowded, there is need for caution and close contact with medical experts,” he said.

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