Thursday, February 22, 2024

Nigeria records 411 cases of Lassa fever and 72 deaths in six weeks

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said Nigeria recorded 411 confirmed cases and 72 deaths from Lassa fever across 21 states of the federation from week one to week six of 2024.

The NCDC in its latest situation report for week six spanning 5 to 11 February, revealed that the number of new confirmed cases increased from 70 in week 5 to 83, with nine deaths in the reporting week.

According to the situation report, 65 per cent of all the confirmed cases were from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi while 35 per cent were reported from 17 states.

The report noted that the number of suspected cases in 2024 (2,122) decreased when compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (8280).

According to the disease control centre, the predominant age group affected by Lassa fever is 21-30 years, and two new health workers were affected in the reporting week.

NCDC added that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The agency also enumerated some of the challenges in its fight against Lassa fever across the country, listing; late presentation of the cases leading to an increase in CFR, and poor health-seeking behaviour due to the high cost of treatment and clinical management.

Other challenges are poor environmental sanitation conditions and poor awareness reportedly observed in high-burden communities.
Lassa fever

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic (excessive bleeding) illness that is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated persons.

Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

By Leshi James, Premium Times

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