A new deadly disease known as Stephen Johnson Syndrome (SJS), an unusual allergic reaction, has surfaced in Nigeria, according to the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.
According to Adewole, the disease has killed one person, while another is being treated at the National Hospital Abuja. The health minister announced the emergence of the new disease in Nigeria at a press briefing in Abuja earlier today…
A Senior Consultant Physician/Dermatologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Olanrewaju Falodun who spoke about the disease, said
“Stephens Johnson Syndrome, 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 percent 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” he said.
He listed the symptoms of the SJS disease to include fever, sore throat, running nose, fatigue, general aches and pains, ulcers in mouth, genitals, anal regions as well as conjunctivitis.
According to him, the health complications of the disease includes pigmentation problems, skin scarring, scarred genitals, joint pains, lung diseases, obstructive disorders and eye complications, adhesions, ulcers, and blindness.
He said the cause of the disease has not yet been discovered in a quarter to half of cases but that self-medications appeared to be one of its causes. He advised Nigerians to avoid misuse of drugs, while individuals with previous drug reactions should always inform healthcare practitioners.
The Minister of Health says efforts are now being made to sensitize the public about the disease
“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 government to enlighten the society by trying to increase their awareness, knowledge and to improve their quality way of life.”