Strange Disease Claims One, Hospitalises Others, Says Minister | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Strange Disease Claims One, Hospitalises Others, Says Minister

Prof. IsaacAdewolePost
Posted: May 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Professor Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, has revealed that at least one person has died and several people hospitalised following the outbreak of a strange killer disease known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Prof. Adewole, who disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, stated that another person suspected to have been affected by the disease was responding to treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The minister described the disease as an unusual allergic reaction to medications, urging Nigerians not to panic as the Federal Government was doing everything within its power to put an end to it.
Prof. Adewale said: “We have to find a means to communicate with Nigerians, so they should all be aware of this dangerous disease and it is the sole business of the government to enlighten the society by trying to increase their awareness, knowledge and to improve their way of life.”
Dr. Olanrewaju Falodun, a senior consultant physician at the National Hospital, Abuja, also added, “SJS is an immune complex mediated hypersensitivity reaction that typically involves the skin and mucous membranes and was first described in 1922 by Albert Stevens and Frank Johnson.
“SJS is a rare and unpredictable reaction, and is also a minor form of toxic epidermal necrolysis with less than 10 per cent body surface area involvement.
 “SJS is a rare but serious and potentially life-threatening contagious drug reaction. Incidence of SJS is estimated between 1.1 and 7.1 cases per million per year and is more prevalent in women than men. Incidence in Europe is two per million per year.”
On the symptoms of the disease, Dr. Idris Durojaiye, a pathologist, said, “The whole skin will peel off but it is usually linked to a drug that the person has taken, so if there is an outbreak, it is because people are reacting to a particular drug being circulated.
“It is usually doctors that can try to identify the drugs that may be responsible because if there is an outbreak, it means there is a pattern. So it is the duty of the health authorities to trace the pattern to know if there is a particular drug that is responsible for it.
“Normally, a patient cannot know if he would react to a drug because you cannot know if you have never reacted to the drug before. So my advice is that whatever drugs that people have reacted to in the past, they should try to avoid it. But the problem is that if you have never taken a drug before, you cannot know if you will react to it.”