Nigerian officials say H1N1 flu vaccine 'not available'

LAGOS, Nigeria — Two weeks after influenza A/H1N1 killed a 38-year-old woman in Lagos and eight others subsequently tested positive, Lagos state government disclosed Jan. 19 that Nigeria currently "has no vaccine to treat the flu virus in stock," AllAfrica.com reported Jan. 20

Dr. Jide Idris, the state commissioner for health, spoke to journalists at a briefing along with Dr. Adetoun Agbe-Davies, the permanent secretary of the ministry, and Dr. Femi Taiwo, the director of disease control.

Idris, however, said the state government had decided to procure the vaccine from other countries within four weeks in order to respond to the health crisis. He urged people to take some precautionary measures.

He said the 38-year-old woman traveled to the United States about three months ago and developed a respiratory tract infection about six weeks after she returned to the country.

The commissioner said she was referred to a private hospital in Eti-Osa, where she was being treated for pneumonia before she died Jan. 5. It was later confirmed that she died of the virus.

Idris said the eight people who tested positive have since been placed on antivirals and that surveillance activities are ongoing.

This is the third case of H1N1 in Lagos but the only death recorded, he said.