The Lagos State government has recommended that Queens College, Yaba, delay its resumption till appropriate measures are in place for the safety of its pupils.
According to Commissioner of Health Jide Idris, the recommendation was necessary to ensure that all sources of contaminants in the school, which have been causing the death of pupils be properly handled.
Idris said the source of the problem was contaminated water.
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.
“There were four peak periods of infection namely January 31, February 2, February 8 and February 14.
“The highest peak was January 31. Sixteen cases were admitted in various hospitals.
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.”
Idris said the results from the two laboratories showed high bacterial content in the water samples from the kitchen, behind dining hall and Queen’s Delight, the school’s water factory.
The bacteria range from Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella Ozoana and Aeromonas Hydrophila.
He 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) 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 is pertinent to once more 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.”