The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has revealed that a new deadly disease known as Stephen Johnson Syndrome (SJS) has surfaced in Nigeria.
Already, one person has died from the disease and another being treated at the National Hospital Abuja, the Minister said.
Adewole made the revelation at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, May 13.
Speaking about the disease, a Senior Consultant Physician/Dermatologist at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Olanrewaju Falodun said that 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.
Falodun 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.