Lassa fever kills doctor, pregnant woman in Nasarawa

Two persons have died of Lassa fever in Nasarawa state.

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

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.

According a statement signed by Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the victims are a pregnant woman and a medical doctor.


“On the 8th of December 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was notified of the death of two persons from Lassa fever. The first case was a pregnant woman who presented in a health facility in Nasarawa State and the next one, a medical doctor involved in the management of the patient that later sought medical care in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” the statement reads.

“In addition, another medical doctor linked to the index case has also been confirmed to have Lassa fever and he is currently receiving medical care in FCT.

“The Nasarawa State Ministry of Health with support of NCDC has commenced an in-depth epidemiological investigation of the cases to understand the possible source of infection and the extent of spread of the disease. Contact tracing of all the close contacts of the patients has commenced.”


The agency said following the confirmation of Lassa fever cases in Nasarawa state and the FCT, it has intensified the activities of the national multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary Lassa fever Technical Working Group (TWG) for Lassa fever surveillance and response in the country.

“Lassa fever Emergency Operation Centres have also been activated by the affected state and FCT. The NCDC sympathises with the families of the patients and the healthcare workers who have lost their lives to the disease,” the statement reads.

Since January 2021, a total of 434 cases of Lassa fever, with 80 deaths have been reported from 16 states and 63 LGAs in Nigeria, according to recent data by the NCDC.

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