Home News Lassa fever killed 151 Nigerians in 17 weeksNCDC

Lassa fever killed 151 Nigerians in 17 weeksNCDC

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

No fewer than 151 deaths have been recorded as the Lassa fever continued to rise in Nigeria, with 723 cases managed at the case management centre for the disease.

Twenty-three states have also reported confirmed cases of the disease, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) noted this on its website on Sunday’s Lassa fever situation report.

Since the last outbreak of the disease in 2016, the NCDC noted that there had been an increase in the number of recurring cases.

In 2019, the centre noted that 796 cases were reported, while in 2020, 1,165 cases were confirmed during the height of the pandemic.

The NCDC also confirmed a total of 4,632 suspected cases in 2021.

The centre stated, “So far in 2022, 151 people have lost their lives; the highest deaths reported in four years. Cumulatively, from week 1 to week 17 in 2022, 151 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 19.6 per cent.

“In total, for 2022, 23 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 95 local government areas. Of all confirmed cases, 68% are from states namely, Ondo (28 %), Edo (25%) and Bauchi (15%).

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (range:1 to 80 years, median age: 30 years). The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”

Also, NCDC noted that while 51 health workers have been affected, 723 persons have been hospitalised.

It added, “The Federal Ministry of Environment is also implementing a Lassa fever environmental response campaign in high burden states.

“Lassa fever presents initially like any other febrile illness such as malaria. 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 areas.

“The time between infection and appearance of symptoms of the disease ranges from three to twenty-one days. Early treatment and diagnosis increase the chances of survival.”

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