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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Nigeria registers seven new infections due to Lassa fever

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As Nigeria battles the cholera outbreak, the country has recorded seven new confirmed cases of Lassa fever.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed in its latest situation report for week 24 of 2024, which covers June 10 to 16.

This comes around the same period that the NCDC issued an alert over the cholera outbreak that has already claimed 53 lives and as of June 24, over 1,500 suspected cases have been recorded in 107 LGAs across 31 states.

While no deaths from Lassa fever were recorded in the reporting week, the NCDC noted that 162 deaths were reported in 2024 with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 17.6 percent, higher than the 17.1 percent recorded during the same period in 2023.

He stated that 66 per cent of all confirmed cases in 2024 (918) were reported in Ondo, Edo and Bauchi, while 34 per cent were reported in 25 states.

“In total by 2024, 28 states have recorded at least one confirmed case of Lassa fever in 125 local government areas,” it noted.

cholera outbreak

In response to the alarming rise in cholera cases across the country, the NCDC on Monday activated the National Cholera Multi-Sector Emergency Operations Center (COE) to coordinate a robust response to the outbreak.

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According to Jide Idris, Director General of the NCDC, a risk assessment by experts placed Nigeria at high risk of further transmission and impact of cholera.

The NCDC Director General explained that the activated COE will be the central hub to coordinate and direct the country’s response to the cholera outbreak.

In a statement on Monday, the Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako, also advised Nigerians to avoid local drinks such as kunu, zobo and fura to prevent the spread of cholera disease.

“Avoid locally prepared drinks such as kunu, zobo, fura da nono, koko and fruit juices, among others, unless you are sure that the preparation was done in a hygienic and safe manner,” Salako said.

“Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, especially after using the bathroom, cleaning a child who has gone to the bathroom, before preparing food, before and after eating, and after playing with animals.”

About cholera, Lassa fever

Cholera is a food- and water-borne disease caused by ingestion of the organism Vibrio cholera in contaminated food and water.

Symptoms of cholera include acute, profuse, painless watery diarrhea (rice-water stools) of sudden onset, with or without vomiting. It may be associated with nausea and fever.

Severe cases can cause death within hours due to dehydration (massive loss of body fluids).

However, most infected people may only show mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced the global resurgence of cholera, Lassa fever remains a public health problem in Nigeria.

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

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

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