Lassa Fever: Nigeria records 381 cases

Some 381 people have been confirmed to be positive with Lassa fever, in Nigeria, as at February 24.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday said since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, the country has recorded 83 deaths in confirmed cases of the disease.

This brings the case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 21.8 per cent.

Nigeria, since January has been witnessing outbreaks of Lassa fever. In January, NCDC declared a Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

The weekly situation report from NCDC for week eight shows that 23 new confirmed cases were reported from eight states; Edo – 11, Ondo -2, Bauchi -1, Nasarawa -2, Taraba -4, Gombe -1, Kaduna -1 and Cross River -1 States.

The Director-General, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu said for the reporting week, (February 18-24) six new deaths were recorded in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Taraba and Cross River.

Mr Ihekweazu said in the last three weeks there has been a consistent pattern in the number of confirmed cases and death recorded across the country.

He said there has been a steady decline in the number of cases in 2019 as compared to the 2018 outbreak.

Mr Ihekweazu said his submission was based on the outbreak review meeting convened by NCDC on February 15.

“The significant improvement in the 2019 response is as evidenced by the early decline in the number of cases when compared to the 2018 outbreak,” he said.

Statistics from NCDC shows that from January 1 to February 24, a total of 1249 suspected cases have been reported from 21 States including the FCT was at least one case was confirmed.

Of these, 381 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 858 negatives (not a case).

These states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River.

The confirmed cases were spread out across 66 Local Government Areas in the 21 states.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of the year, 1279 suspected cases have been reported from 32 States including FCT.

Also in the new reporting week eight, two new healthcare workers were affected in Edo State.

This brings the total of health care workers who have been infected since the onset of the outbreak to 15.

These health workers are located in seven states, Edo (7), Ondo (3), Ebonyi (1), Enugu (1), Rivers (1), Bauchi (1) and Benue (1) with one death in Enugu.

So far, Edo, Ondo, Bauchi and Ebonyi has been topping the chart of the most infected states.

Currently, 55 patients are being managed at various treatment centres across the country: Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre (27), Federal Medical Centre Owo (9), Federal Teaching Hospital Abakiliki (1), Bauchi (1), Plateau (7) and Taraba (7), Gombe (1), Kaduna (1) and Kebbi (1).

A total of 4499 contacts have been identified from 18 States. Of these 1987 are currently being followed up, 2461 have completed 21 days follow up, while 4 were lost to follow up.

77 symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 47 have tested positive.

NCDC said the multi-sectoral one health national rapid response teams (NCDC, NFELTP, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Federal Ministry of Environment) is still working in Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi.

As part of the response coordination, NCDC said it has provided an ambulance to Federal Medical Centre, Owo Infection Control Centre.

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