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Saturday, July 20, 2024

In the past week, Nigeria has documented 109 cases and 20 fatalities

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Nigeria has confirmed 109 new Lassa fever infections and 20 deaths across 16 states in one week, spanning 26 to 3 March.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) noted in its latest situation report published on its website for week nine of 2024 that there was an increase in the confirmed cases from 96 in week eight.

Cumulatively, the report shows that from week one to nine, Nigeria recorded 682 confirmed cases and 128 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8 per cent which is higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023 which was 16.1 per cent.

It also noted that the number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023, adding that eight new healthcare workers were affected in the reporting week 9.

More Details

NCDC noted that the states affected were Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Benue, Ebonyi, Kogi, Kaduna, Taraba, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Rivers, Ogun, and Oyo states.

The situation report noted that 62 per cent of all the confirmed cases were reported from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi while 38 per cent were from 24 states with confirmed cases.

It stated that the predominant age group affected is 31-40 years, while the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9.

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).

Challenges

It also highlighted some challenges it encounters in combating Lassa Fever across the country.

The challenges are a late presentation of cases leading to an increase in CFR and poor health-seeking behaviour due to the high cost of treatment and clinical management of Lassa Fever.

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

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