Lassa fever kills 41 in 19 states as Osun quarantines 76 suspected cases

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday said there have been 365 confirmed cases of Lassa fever and 41 deaths in 19 states.

Its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, told the News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) that the fatality rate was lower than last year.

He said: “The good news is that in spite of the increase in the number of confirmed cases announced on January 26, 2020, which stood at 258 with 41 deaths from 19 states, the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for 2020 is lower at 12.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2019 which was 17.7 per cent.

“Our goal is to have a single-digit CFR in Nigeria and we are on the right track.”

The Katsina State government yesterday confirmed two cases of Lassa fever and one death.

The other victims are on admission, Executive Director of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Shamsudeen Yahaya, said.

He said seven samples were collected by the agency; four were reported negative; one is still pending for confirmation, and two returned positive.

Yahaya said the deceased was a 26-year-old with three-month pregnancy.

The positive case is a 60-year-old relation of the deceased.

“The expectant mother was vomiting, bleeding and the pregnancy was aborted just before she died,” Yahaya said.

He advised the public to maintain personal hygienic practices, while health workers should maintain high level of professionalism.

The Osun State government said it had quarantined 76 persons suspected to be infected with Lassa fever virus in the state.

Dr Olasiji Olamiju, the Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on Public Health, made this known while addressing reporters in Osogbo yesterday.

NAN quotes Olamiju as saying that among the 76 were four medical doctors.

He said the 76 persons were quarantined as part of proactive measures of the state government to prevent the spread of the virus in the state.

Olamiju, however, said results of the test conducted on some of the people quarantined came out negative.

On Coronavirus, the Ebonyi Government has inaugurated an Emergency Preparedness and Response Committee to check its outbreak.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Kenneth Ugbala, stated this in a statement made available to NAN in Abakaliki.

Ugbala, who heads the committee, said all major entry points into Ebonyi would henceforth be under medical surveillance, while all returnees and expatriates would undergo medical screening with a two-week follow-up.

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