Lassa Fever: Nigeria Records 476 Cases, 84 Deaths In 23 States

Director General of the NCDC, Olajide Idris.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said that Lassa fever claimed 84 lives with 476 confirmed cases across the country.

Director General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris while briefing the media on Lassa on Friday explained that as of February 18, 2024 (end of week 7), 84 Local Government Areas in 23 states of the country have reported a total of 2,621 suspected cases, 476 confirmed, and 84 deaths with a case fatality rate of 18.6%.

The DG also said NCDC was notified by the Kaduna State Ministry of Health of the report of deaths from suspected viral hemorrhagic fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna.

He said, following this notification, the NCDC has been working with both institutions to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the suspected cases as well as ramp up response activities.

“Four of the six blood samples from suspected cases sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital in Kano have been confirmed for Lassa fever.

“Furthermore, twenty-five close contacts of all these cases are now under follow-up and placed on prophylactic medicine.

“The State Ministry of Health has also activated their Incident Management System with all the response pillars including intensified risk communication and community engagement for the prevention and control of Lassa fever in the affected communities.”

Idris while speaking further also sympathised with the families and friends of those who lost their lives including health workers to Lassa fever disease across the country.

Idris further disclosed that NCDC through the recently activated multi-sectoral multi-disciplinary Incident Management System has commenced the distribution of medical supplies for case management, infection prevention and control, and laboratory diagnosis, in all Lassafever treatment centres in the country.

“Capacity building exercises of some healthcare workers across all the geopolitical zones on Lassa fever preparedness, readiness, and response through the pilot Lassa fever clinical management fellowship.”

“Distribution of Lassa fever social and behaviour change communication (SBC) materials to all the 36 states and FCT”, he said.

He further disclosed that Nigeria was currently responding to other disease outbreaks including meningitis (507 cases and 63 deaths in 19 states), measles (915 suspected, 516 confirmed cases with 2 deaths in 29 states), diphtheria (16,248 cases and 646 deaths in 22 states), and cholera.

“These statistics recorded are high and totally unacceptable to the government. So, safeguarding our health is our collective responsibility.

“Health Security, as outlined in the 4-point agenda by the Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare, and which the current administration has considered critical, is a collective responsibility. You, our people also have a crucial role to play in terms of positive health behaviour as advised,” he added.




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