Nigeria: Lassa Fever Kills Eight, Infects 39 in Six States

Lassa fever public health advisory.

Again, the ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in over 21 states of the federation has killed eight Nigerians and infected another 39 in Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Taraba and Kogi.

According to latest figures published yesterday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in the reporting Week 09 (February 25-March 3, 2019), thirty-nine new confirmed cases were reported from six states - Edo (20), Ondo (12), Ebonyi (two), Bauchi (two), Taraba (two) and Kogi (one) with eight new deaths in Edo (five), Ondo (two) and Kogi (one).

The NCDC said from January 1 to March 3, 2019, 1,374 suspected cases had been reported from states that have recorded at least one confirmed case, that is 21 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Of these, 420 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 939 negative (not a case) - and overall, 33 states, including FCT, have reported a total 1,447 suspected cases.

The centre said since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 93 deaths in confirmed cases with case fatality ratio (CFR) in confirmed cases of 22.1 per cent.

According to the NCDC, 21 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 66 local councils.However, in the reporting Week 09, no new healthcare worker was affected but a total of 15 healthcare workers have been infected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states - Edo (seven), Ondo (three), Ebonyi (one), Enugu (one), Rivers (one), Bauchi (one) and Benue (one) with one death in Enugu.

The NCDC said 69 patients are currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country: 34 at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) Treatment Centre, Edo State; 16 at Federal Medical Centre Owo, Ondo State; two at Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state; two at Bauchi; five at Plateau; seven at Taraba and one each at Gombe, Kaduna and Kebbi.

According to it, 4,902 contacts have been identified from 19 states and of these, 1,926 (39.3 per cent) are currently being followed up, 2,923 (58.6 per cent) have completed 21 days follow-up, while four (0.1 per cent) were lost to follow-up. Also, it said 80 (1.6 per cent) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 49 (1.0 per cent) have tested positive.

The NCDC said multi-sectoral health national rapid response teams, including the NCDC, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of the Environment, had been deployed to Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi and Taraba; and National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

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