Wednesday, July 6

Lassa fever kills 40 persons in 30 days, says NCDC

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

…82 percent of cases from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday revealed that Lassa fever has killed 40 Nigerians in eleven states in four weeks, between January 1 to 30, 2022.

The Agency further noted that as of January 30, 2022, a total of 211 confirmed cases of Lassa fever have been reported, with a case fatality ratio of 19 per cent). The states with the disease burden are: Bauchi, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Kogi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta and Katsina.

It further disclosed that of all confirmed cases, 82 per cent were from Ondo (30 per cent), Edo (27 per cent) and Bauchi (25 per cent) States.

In a statement, the NCDC said: “In week 4 (between January 24 to 30, 2022, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 74 in week 3, 2022 to 42 cases. These were reported from Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Enugu and Delta States.

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 80 years, Median Age: 30 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8.

“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new Healthcare workers were affected in the reporting.

“National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Coordination Centre (EOC) activated to coordinate response activities at all levels.”

To reduce the risk of the spread of Lassa fever, the NCDC offers the following advice: Ensure proper environmental sanitation – that is, keep your environment clean at all times, block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entry; Cover your dustbins and dispose of refuse properly. Communities should set up dumpsites very far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes; Store foodstuff like rice, garri, beans, corn/maize, etc in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids.

Others are – Avoid drying foodstuffs outside on the floor, roadside where they will be exposed to contamination; Avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings; Eliminate rats in homes and communities by setting rat traps and other means; Practice good personal hygiene by frequent washing hands with soap under running water /or use of hand sanitisers when appropriate; and visit the nearest health facility if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever as mentioned earlier, and avoid self-medication.

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