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NCDC reports 411 Lassa fever cases, 72 deaths in six weeks

NCDC reports 411 Lassa fever cases, 72 deaths in six weeks
February 22
13:52 2024

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says it has recorded 411 confirmed cases of Lassa fever and 72 deaths across the country.

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic 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, inexplicable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other parts of the body.

In its Lassa fever situation report on Thursday, the NCDC said the cases were recorded across 21 states of the federation from week one to week six of 2024.

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The report said the number of new confirmed cases increased from 70 in week five to 83 in week six, with nine deaths recorded in week six, spanning February 5 to February 11.

The NCDC said 65 percent of all the confirmed cases were from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 35 percent were reported from 17 states.

The agency said the number of suspected cases in 2024 (2,122) decreased when compared to the figure reported for the same period in 2023 (8,280).

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It said the predominant age group affected by Lassa fever was 21 to 30 years, and two new health workers were affected in the reporting week.

The NCDC said the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral incident management system has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the emergency operations centre (EOC).

The agency also listed some of the challenges it faces as late presentation of the cases, and poor health-seeking behaviour due to the high cost of treatment, and clinical management.

Other challenges, it said, were poor environmental sanitation and poor awareness observed in high-burden communities.

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