Health

March 21, 2024

Lassa fever: NCDC registers 20 deaths across 16 states

lassa fever

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says it has registered new cases of Lassa fever and 20 deaths across 16 states in one week.

According to the NCDC, the period spans from February 26 to March 3.

The NCDC, via its official website, said that for week nine of 2024, there was an increase in the confirmed cases from 96 in week eight.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that 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.

The agency said that despite the efforts, the country continued to face new cases and fatalities, underscoring the persistent threat posed by Lassa fever.

It disclosed that the country registered 109 cases, all in one week.

‘‘Cumulatively, the report shows that from weeks 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 reporting week 9.

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

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 was 31 to 40 years old, while the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9.

The public health agency said that the National Lassa Fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral incident management system had been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). (NAN)