Lassa fever spreads to 101 LGs, kills 169 – TrendyNewsReporters

Lassa fever spreads to 101 LGs, kills 169


Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has recorded a total of 899 cases of Lassa fever from 25 states across 101 local government areas in the country.

 The cases were reported between January 1, 2022, and August 28, 2022.

 According to the situation report obtained by our correspondent on Monday, a total of 6,471 suspected cases and 169 deaths have been recorded from the disease so far. Lassa fever is both an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever. The causative agent is a single-stranded RNA virus in the family Arenaviridae, the Lassa virus. This zoonotic disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality, and it has both economic and health security consequences.

Lassa fever presents symptoms and signs similar to those of many febrile illnesses, thus making it difficult to diagnose clinically. The incubation period is between 6 and 21 days. It causes a syndrome characterised by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, chest, and abdominal pain.

 The NCDC report read in part, “In week 34, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from six in week 34, 2022, to five cases. These were reported from Ondo and Edo states.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 34 in 2022, 169 deaths have been reported with a Case Fatality Rate of 18.8 per cent, which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (22.7 per cent).

 The report added, “In total for 2022, 25 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 101 local government areas.

“Of all confirmed cases (70 per cent), its breakdown among the states indicates Ondo has 31 per cent, Edo, 26 per cent and Bauchi, 13 per cent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21–30 years (range: 0–90 years, median age: 30 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8.

“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.

“In reporting week 34, no new healthcare workers were affected.

“The National Lassa Fever Multi-Partner, Multi-Sectoral Technical Working Group continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.”

Speaking with our correspondent, a former National Chairman of the Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Prof. Tanimola Akande, described the rising number of Lassa fever cases as disturbing.

 “The government at all levels needs to step up control measures with active surveillance and education of the populace on preventive measures they need to put in place at the individual, family, and community levels,” Akande said.

Also, a medical laboratory scientist at the Department of Microbiology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Obinna Chukwudi, said people need to understand the risk factors of the disease.

 “It seems like people are yet to take some activities that expose them to this virus seriously, such as poor hygiene, which provides the environment for the vector to thrive and breed,” he said.


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