A general medical practitioner with a private hospital in Gwagalada, Dr. Victor Fayomi, on Saturday, advised residents of the FCT to take advantage of the ongoing mass vaccination campaign on yellow fever.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the vaccination started on Saturday and will run until December 7, in all government hospitals and designated centres, including schools, markets, churches and mosques.
Dr. Fayomi said yellow fever was an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted mostly by the bite of an infected female mosquito.
“It’s considered acute because it lasts for only a few days and can become fatal within this period. It’s also said to be haemorrhagic because in severe cases, it causes bleeding from body orifices. Once bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms usually develop between three to six days, and these include fever, chills, headache, back and muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting,” he said.
Fayomi stressed that in most cases, the symptoms were resolved within three to four days, but that in about 15 per cent of the cases, patients might enter a second and toxic phase within 24 hours of the resolution of previous symptoms.
“Patients with the toxic manifestation develop recurring fever, jaundice due to liver damage, abdominal pain, kidney infection and bleeding from body openings like the mouth, nose and anus.
“Death could also follow in about 50 per cent of those who progress to the toxic phase, as this usually occurs in about seven to 10 days.
“While diagnosis may be difficult, it is usually made from clinical and previous history. Laboratory investigations can also be carried out, but not earlier than the sixth day of being infected,” he said.
Fayomi, however, said the treatment of infected patients was usually supportive, as there were no specific antiviral drugs.
He said prevention was often achieved by vaccination which conferred a lifelong immunity against the disease. (NAN)