Rampaging Lassa Fever strike 84 Nigerians dead in seven weeks

Rampaging Lassa Fever strike 84 Nigerians dead in seven weeks

Dr. Jide Idris, Director-General, NCDC.

Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga

By Kazeem Ugbodaga 

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the dreaded Lassa Fever disease has killed 84 Nigerians in the last seven weeks.

Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a news conferences, saying the period covered between January and February 18, 2024.

According to Idris, as of February 18, 2024, 84 Local Government Areas in 23 states of the country had reported a total of 2,621 suspected cases of Lassa Fever, with 476 confirmed to be Lassa Fever.

He disclosed that 84 deaths with a case fatality rate of 18.6 per cent has been reported in the last seven weeks, while expressing condolences go to the families and friends of those who lost their lives to this disease across the country.

Idris also said the NCDC was notified on Thursday 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.

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

The Director-General disclosed that four of the six blood samples from suspected cases sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital in Kano had been confirmed for Lassa fever.

He added that 25 close contacts of all these cases were now under follow-up and placed on prophylactic medicine.

Idris stated that the State Ministry of Health had 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.

On prevention of Lassa Fever, the DG urged Nigerians to cover their dust or waste bins and dispose of their refuse properly, saying that communities should set up dump sites far from their homes to reduce the chances of the entry of rodents into their homes and safely store food items such as rice, garri, beans, corn/maize, etc., in tightly sealed or well-covered containers.

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