More hits as Lassa fever has continued to spread in Nigeria with 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths in 18 states according to a press statement released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday.
According to the agency, following the increasing number of Lassa fever cases, within a week, fifty four new confirmed cases were recorded from eight States with ten new deaths in confirmed cases from five states.
“From 1st January to 25th February 2018, a total of 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths have been recorded actively in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti states making eighteen states.
“This year 69 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (43%) and Ondo (26%) states. Fourteen health care workers have been affected in six states Ebonyi -7, Nasarawa -1, Kogi -1, Benue -1, Ondo -1 and Edo -3) with four deaths (Ebonyi -3 and Kogi -1), say the report.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents. Person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures.
The agency further stated that since the onset of the 2018, 325 cases have been classified as: 317 confirmed cases, 8 probable cases with 72 deaths (64 in Lab confirmed and 8 in probable); Case Fatality Rate in confirmed and probable cases is 22 per cent.
“There is need the public to ensure and maintain adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of prevention and control measures against the spread of Lassa fever in the state,’’ said Jide Idris, Commissioner for Health In an interview BusinessDay.
The commissioner urged people to dispose refuse properly at designated dump sites and not into the drainage system and store food items in rodent-proof containers.
“Currently, Lassa fever are been followed up and testing across three laboratories in the country. The NCDC is working in collaboration with The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and World Health Organisation (WHO) scaling up its support of the response at National and State levels, says the stated.