Friday, May 10, 2024

Nigeria records 857 cases of lassa fever, 156 deaths in four months

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the country has recorded 857 confirmed cases and 156 deaths of Lassa fever across 28 states of the federation from January to 28 April.

NCDC, in its latest Lassa fever situation report, noted that cumulatively from week 1 to 17, the fatalities were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.2 per cent which is higher than 17.0 per cent recorded in the same period in 2023.

The NCDC report for week 17 spanning from 22-28 April, also noted an increase in the number of confirmed cases from 11 in week 16 to 14 in the reporting week.

According to the reports, 63 per cent of all the confirmed cases in 2024 were from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi while 37 per cent were reported from 25 states.

It further stated that the number of suspected cases in 2024 (5963) increased when compared to that which was reported in the same period in 2023 (5084).

According to NCDC, no health worker was affected in the reporting week, adding that the predominant age group affected by Lassa fever is 21-30 years.

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.

By Leshi James, Premium Times

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