…472 Confirmed Cases–NCDC
By Ibrahim Hassan
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said that there were 472 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria.
The agency said 70 deaths were recorded across 92 Local Government Areas in 26 states.
Assistant Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Department of the NCDC, Dr. Kola Jinaidu, made the disclosure in Kaduna on Thursday.
According to him ,14 health workers were affected following the outbreak of the diseases recorded in the country between January and February 9th, 2020,
Junaidu spoke as guest at a one – day sensitization seminar organized by Great Helping Hands Foundation in partnership with Oma Life Rescue Foundation in Kaduna with the topic “Global threats of Corona and Lassa virus, awareness, causes and prevention.”
He explained that Lassa fever symptoms were more difficult to identify particularly in non-epidemic period, adding, however, that some of the symptoms include:fatigue, general weakness, fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, face swelling, low blood pressure among others.
He said Lassa fever could be transmitted through direct contact with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats, contact with objects, household items and surfaces or eating food contaminated with urine, fasces, saliva or blood of infected rats.
He said person to person transmission by contact with blood, urine, faeces, vomitus and other body fluids of an infected person could occur.
“Early treatment and diagnosis increases the chances of survival,” he said.
Junaidu added that preventive measures against Lassa fever, include “effective personal hygiene e.g frequent hand washing practices, use of hand sanitizers, proper environmental sanitation, rodent control measure to include covering of dustbin, avoiding bush burning, blocking of all holes at home and work environment and storage of foodstuffs in rat-proof containers.”
He called on whoever witnesses any of the symptoms to avoid any form of self-medication but to visit the nearest health facility and receive IV Ribavin and other supportive treatment.
Contrary to insinuations, Junaidu said that Coronavirus was not in Africa, but hundreds of thousands affected with over 1000 deaths recorded in place like China.
Earlier, Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed – Baloni, represented by the Director Public Health, Dr. Mohammed Bello, informed that Lassa fever treatment in the state was for free, saying that Lassa fever was no longer an epidemic but has become endemic.
The Commissioner said the has put in place a Rapid Response Team to tackle the spread and treatment of the disease in the state.
The Chief Executive Officer of Great Helping Hands Foundation, Mrs. Shola Oweye and the CEO of Oma Life Rescue Foundation, Dr Omanibe Ani, said the foundations were committed towards touching the lives of the people positively.