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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nigeria Records 23 Deaths and 96 Cases of Lassa Fever in One Week

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Nigeria has confirmed 96 new Lassa fever infections and 23 deaths across 12 states in one week, spanning 19 to 25 February.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest situation report published on its website for week eight of 2024.

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The report reveals that the number of new confirmed cases increased from 66 in week 7 to 96 cases, adding that six new health workers were affected in the reporting week.

Cumulatively, the report shows that from week one to eight, Nigeria recorded 573 confirmed cases and 108 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8 per cent which is higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023(16.4 per cent)

Breakdown

According to the situation report, 24 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 93 local government areas in 2024.

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It further stated that 64 per cent of all the confirmed cases were recorded from three states: Ondo, Edo and Bauchi while 36 per cent were from 21 states.

READ ALSO: In Ondo, Lassa Fever kills more people than COVID-19 in 11 months

Of the 64 per cent confirmed cases, Edo accounted for 26 per cent, Ondo, 23 per cent, and Bauchi, 15 per cent.

The report also noted that people between the age range of 31-40 years are predominantly affected by the disease.

It 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).

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Challenges

NCDC, in the report, highlighted some of its challenges in the fight against Lassa fever.

The challenges include the 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.

Others 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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