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NCDC records 806 Lassa fever cases, 150 deaths in Q1 2024

NCDC records 806 Lassa fever cases, 150 deaths in Q1 2024
April 13
10:09 2024

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 150 deaths and 806 cases of Lassa fever from January to March 2024.

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

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.

In its situation report for week 13, the NCDC said there were 15 new Lassa fever cases in the reporting week, adding that this was a decrease from the 25 confirmed cases in week 12.

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It, however, said the number of suspected cases increased compared to the same period in 2023.

The report said no health worker was infected in the reporting week, and that individuals between the ages of 31 and 40 were predominantly affected by the infection.

“Cumulatively, from week one to 13, the country recorded 806 confirmed cases and 150 deaths, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6 per cent, higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023 (17.5 per cent),” the report reads.

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“Twenty-five states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 local government areas in 2024.

“Sixty-two per cent of all confirmed cases were recorded from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, with Ondo State accounting for 24 per cent, Edo 22 per cent, and Bauchi 16 per cent.”

The NCDC said 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).

The NCDC highlighted some challenges in the fight against the disease, including the late presentation of cases leading to increased CFR.

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It attributed the latter to the high cost of treatment and clinical management of Lassa fever, as well as poor environmental sanitation and awareness in high-burden communities.

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