Lassa fever death toll rises to 90 in Nigeria
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday officially confirmed the death of 90 persons from Lassa fever as a report for the eigth week since January 1.
According to the report, until February 25, 2018, 1081 suspected cases and 90 deaths have been recorded from 18 states, which rose from the initial 54.
The affected states include Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti.
The disease also affected 14 health workers, seven in Ebonyi; one in Nasarawa; one in Kogi; one in Benue; one in Ondo; and three in Edo. Four died in Ebonyi and one in Kogi.
The report further disclosed that 69 percent of the confirmed cases were from Edo and Ondo states with 43 and 26 percents, respectively. Case Fatality Rate in confirmed and probable cases is 22 per cent.
NCDC epidemiological report released for week seven disclosed that 913 suspected cases of the disease had been reported from 17 states out of which 272 cases were confirmed positive and 54 deaths recorded giving a case fatality rate of 21 per cent.
The situation report shows that the predominant age group affected is age group 21-40. The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is also 2:1.
“A total of 2845 contacts have been identified from 18 active states and 1897 are currently being followed up,” states the report.
Meanwhile, NCDC has deployed teams to four Benin Republic border states (Kebbi, Kwara, Niger and Oyo) for enhanced surveillance activities, the report states.
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, had earlier blamed states health commissioners for lack of preparedness and slow medical intervention in tackling outbreak of Lassa fever in the country.
Mr. Adewole had expressed disappointment at the way most states handled the outbreak as it showed lack of preparedness.
Lassa fever can be prevented through practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.
Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households, and other measures to discourage rodents from entering homes.