NCDC Confirms Four New Lassa Fever Cases

 

Four new cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed from three states in the country, with no new death recorded.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed this in its latest Situation Report on the disease for Week 19 which covers May 6 to 12.

Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 128 deaths in confirmed cases.

Recent figure shows that two cases were confirmed in Edo and one each Ebonyi and Taraba States respectively.

This brings to 2,426, the total number of suspected cases reported from 21 states between January 1 and May 12, 2019.

Of these, 569 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 1842 negative (not a case), while case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 22.5 per cent.

 

There is at least one confirmed case across 82 Local Government Areas of Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, and Plateau.

Others are Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Edo State is leading with 36 per cent, followed by Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Taraba, and Plateau States with 29, eight, seven, seven, and six per cent respectively.

Predominant age-group affected is 21-40 years while the ratio of male to female for confirmed cases is 1.2:1.

 

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week, although a total of 18 healthcare workers have been infected in eight states since the onset of the outbreak with two deaths in Enugu and Edo States.

NCDC said eight patients are currently being managed at various facilities such as the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre and the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki among others.

It disclosed further that a total of 7,368 contacts have been identified from 20 States and of these, 535 are currently being followed up while 6,765 have completed 21 days follow up and eight others lost to follow up.

The report read, “119 (1.6%) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 60 (0.8%) have tested positive.”

The agency gave assurance that the multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) has continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

Lassa Fever: 16 New Cases Confirmed As Death Toll Rises To 121

Source: www.ncdc.gov.ng

 

Sixteen new cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed from five states in the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest Situation Report on the disease for Week 13 which covers March 25 to 31.

A breakdown of the figure shows that six cases were confirmed in Edo and four in Ondo, while two cases were confirmed in Bauchi, Taraba, and Plateau States.

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The report also revealed that one new death was recorded in Bauchi and another in Taraba State.

According to the NCDC, a total of 2,034 suspected cases have been reported from 21 states across the country from January 1 to March 31, 2019.

Of these cases, 526 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 1,693 negative (not a case).

 

Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 121 deaths in confirmed cases while the case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 23.0%.

Twenty states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have recorded at least one confirmed case of the disease across 81 Local Government Areas.

The states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River.

In the reporting week 13, one new healthcare worker was affected in Plateau State, bringing the number of healthcare workers infected since the onset of the outbreak to 17.

Seven of them were infected in Edo, three in Ondo, two in Ebonyi, and one each in Enugu, Rivers, Bauchi, Benue, and Plateau States.

 

Similarly, 29 patients are currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country: Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre – 10, Federal Medical Centre Owo – nine, Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki – three, Bauchi – two, Plateau – three, and Taraba – two.

The NCDC said a total of 6,489 contacts have been identified from 20 States.

Of these, 1,443 (22.2%) are being followed up, 4,983 (76.8%) have completed 21 days follow up, while eight (0.1%) were lost to follow up.

One hundred and twelve (1.7%) symptomatic contacts have also been identified, of which 55 (1.0%) have tested positive.

The agency revealed that the multi-sectoral one health national rapid response teams have been deployed to Taraba and Bauchi States.

It added that the national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), has continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

See the full report below:

Six Die From Lassa Fever In Six States This Week

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever

 

Six persons have been confirmed dead from Lassa fever in the country this week, one each in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Taraba and Cross River States, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

In the same time frame, 23 new confirmed cases have been reported in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Gombe, Kaduna and Cross River states.

Out of the 23 new cases, two new healthcare workers, have been affected in Edo State.

The state also records the highest number of new cases of the disease.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in 2019, 83 deaths have been reported from 381 confirmed cases across 21 states.

READ ALSONigeria’s Lassa Fever Death Toll Rises To 75, 25 New Cases Confirmed

However, the NCDC noted that there has been a decline in the number of new infections for the fourth consecutive week this year.

The NCDC stated that a total of 55 patients are currently receiving care at treatment centres in Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi and six other states, with health workers following up on 1,987 contacts in 18 states.

Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic disease contracted from rodents which can be prevented by avoiding contact with rats, putting food away in rodent-proof containers, washing hands with soap and water and keeping the surroundings clean.

Nigeria’s Lassa Fever Death Toll Rises To 75, 25 New Cases Confirmed

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever

 

The number of people killed as a result of Lassa Fever outbreak in the country has risen to 75, with 25 new cases confirmed.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest situation report on the disease published on Friday.

According to the agency, the report for week seven revealed that six confirmed cases were reported from Edo, two from Ondo, and one from Ebonyi.

Other states where confirmed cases were recorded included Plateau – two, Taraba – four, Bauchi – eight, Kogi – one, and Kebbi – one.

On the other hand, three new deaths were recorded in Ondo, two in Bauchi, and one other in Kogi State.

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Since the beginning of the year until February 17, a total of 1,139 suspected cases have been reported from 19 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Of these cases, 355 were confirmed positive, three probable, and 781 negative (not a case).

NCDC, however, said 1,168 suspected cases have been reported from 30 states and the FCT.

It added that 20 states – which include Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, and Kwara, among others – have recorded at least one confirmed case across 57 local government areas.

A healthcare worker was affected in Edo while 13 others have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven States.

The agency disclosed that 88 patients were being managed at various treatment centres across the country, with 31 in Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, and 28 at Federal Medical Centre, Owo.

Three patients are receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki, 11 in Bauchi, seven in Plateau and Taraba, and one in Kebbi State.

“A total of 3,872 contacts have been identified from 18 States. Of these, 2,600 (67.1%) are currently being followed up, 1,227 (31.7%) have completed 21 days follow up, while Four (0.1%) were lost to follow up. Sixty-three (1.6%) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 41 (1.1%) have tested positive,” the report said.

Lassa Fever Claims Four Lives In Plateau

FG Officially Declares Lassa Fever Outbreak, Activates Emergency Response Centres

 

Four persons have died as a result of Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever in Plateau State.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kuden Kamshak, confirmed this to Channels Television on Wednesday.

According to him, 22 suspected cases were taken for samples and thirteen were later confirmed to have the virus out which of four did not survive.

Read Also: FG Officially Declares Lassa Fever Outbreak, Activates Emergency Response Centres

Kamshak further explained that the remaining patients are been managed at Bingham Teaching Hospital as well as the Jos University Teaching Hospital where they are responding to treatment.

He said the primary contacts are also being monitored by the surveillance team.

The outbreak is currently prevalent in Jos North, Jos South, Shendam, Bassa and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state.

With the resurgence of the disease, the Federal Government has activated emergency response centres in the country.

Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, announced this in a statement signed by him on Tuesday.

The NCDC boss added that recent epidemiological data showed that the trend usually occurs during the dry season – between January and April.

“As at 13 January 2019, a total of 60 confirmed cases have been reported in eight states,” he stated.

FG Officially Declares Lassa Fever Outbreak, Activates Emergency Response Centres

FG Officially Declares Lassa Fever Outbreak, Activates Emergency Response Centres

 

The Federal Government has activated emergency response centres for Lassa fever cases in the country following the official declaration of the disease as an outbreak.

Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, announced this in a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday.

He disclosed that there has been an increase in the number of Lassa fever cases reported from several states across the country since the beginning of the year.

The NCDC boss added that recent epidemiological data shows that the trend usually occurs during the dry season – between January and April.

“As at 13 January 2019, a total of 60 confirmed cases have been reported in eight states,” he revealed.

“Given this increase in reported cases of Lassa fever, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has declared this an outbreak and activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate the response.”

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The national EOC, according to Dr Ihekweazu, comprises representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, US Centres for Disease Control, as well as other partners.

Highlighting the preparation for the year’s emergency phase, he said NCDC has been providing support to states, including the provision of emergency supplies and deployment of Rapid Response Teams (RRT).

The NCDC DG explained that the RRTs would work with states in response coordination, contact tracing, case management, risk communication, as well as strengthening infection prevention and control practices.

“Since the Lassa fever outbreak in 2018, NCDC has worked with states to ensure better preparedness and improved response,” he stated.

Dr Ihekweazu added, “In the last one year, guidelines have been revised, new data management tools have been developed and the laboratory network has been strengthened.

“Additionally, risk communications have been strengthened through radio, posters, flyers and social media. A national research plan has been developed, to enable its full integration into the outbreak response to gain a better understanding of the disease.”

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents.

Person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in a hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures.

Healthcare workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease, especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to.

The NCDC boss, therefore, advised Nigerians to focus on prevention by practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.

He also advocated effective measures which 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.

Dr Ihekweazu advised, “Healthcare workers are again reminded that Lassa fever presents initially like any other disease-causing febrile illness such as malaria, and are advised to practice standard precautions at all times, and to maintain a high index of suspicion.”

“Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) must be applied to all suspected cases of malaria. When the RDT is negative, other causes of febrile illness including Lassa fever should be considered. Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chances of survival.”

The NCDC DG said that have developed national guidelines for infection, prevention, and control, as well as Lassa fever case management.

He said the centre remained committed to supporting all states’ public health teams to prevent and respond to public health threats.

Soldier Dies Of Lassa Fever In Jos – Army

Soldier Dies Of Lassa Fever In Jos – Army

 

A senior non-commissioned officer of the Nigerian Army has been confirmed dead.

Headquarters 3 Division of the Army announced this in a statement on Thursday by its acting Deputy Director of Public Relations, Major Ikechukwu Eze.

The officer was said to have died on Tuesday, a few days after returning from Kogi State where he went for his father’s burial.

He was initially admitted and managed for resistant malaria at the 3 Division Hospital but there was no significant improvement.

This resulted in his referral to Bingham University Teaching Hospital (Jankwano) in Jos, the Plateau State capital for further management.

“Unfortunately, the soldier died on 15 January 2019, four days after his case was reported,” the statement said. “Available medical information confirmed that the soldier may have died of Lassa fever.”

The Division added that an investigation was ongoing to unravel all circumstances that led to the soldier’s death while some measures have been taken to contain the spread of the disease.

It said it has commenced Contact Tracing and Monitoring for both primary and secondary contacts in collaboration with representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), medical personnel of Bingham University Teaching Hospital and 3 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

According to the statement, sensitisation for residents of Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, the host community and the general public has also begun.

“The General Officer Commanding has further directed that the entire Maxwell Khobe Cantonment be fumigated,” it added.

Experts Seek Effective Synergy To Tackle Lassa Fever

Experts Seek Effective Synergy To Tackle Lassa Fever

 

Health experts in Nigeria and other parts of the world met in Abuja on Wednesday to discuss how Lassa fever outbreaks can be tackled in West Africa.

Borne out of human contact with food or items contaminated by rodent waste products, they noted that the disease saddles Nigeria with its heaviest burden internationally.

The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, told the gathering that the progress recorded in the fight against Lassa fever in the country was not a dose of coincidence.

He also attributed the success to the recent signing of the Centre for Disease Control Act into law in November 2018.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu

 

Dr Ihekweazu said, “Today, we have an Act signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – giving us the mandate to do the critical work that we have to do for Nigeria and for the world.”

“The increasing political commitment has meant greater recognition and encouragement to the staff that work tirelessly to protect the health of Nigerians.

“It has meant increased funding to NCDC, it has meant an opportunity to increase our staff strength, it has meant that we have a strong confident work for that is taking all these responsibilities on our behalf,” he added.

The touching account of Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, and his experience with Lassa fever in 1990 drew full attention and sympathy.

The stakeholders agreed that the full eradication of Lassa fever in the West African sub-region would require more effective synergy between nation states and international development partners.

The disease has proven to be one of the most significant threats to Nigeria’s health care system following the annual bouts of outbreaks in various parts of the country.

In view of this reality, the Federal Government is planning disease control as an integral part of the overhaul of the nation’s health sector masterplan.

While both local and international experts agree that progress has been made on this front in Nigeria, the impetus is now placed on the pursuit of final eradication of the dreaded disease.

Lassa Fever Kills 75-Year-Old Woman In Delta

Ogun State Declares 396, Others Free Of Lassa Fever
File Photo

 

The Delta State government has confirmed the death of a 75-year-old woman as a result of Lassa fever.

The state government in a statement signed by the Director of Information, Paul Osahor, said the incident occurred after the woman fell sick and went to the General Hospital, Umuolu, Ndokwa East Local Government Area (LGA) on Saturday, August 18, 2018.

She was then referred to the Central Hospital, Kwale, Ndokwa West LGA the following day, August 19th and from there was further referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba on August 24, 2018.

At the FMC, Asaba, the victim’s blood sample was taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State for test but she died on August 29, 2018 the same day the hospital in Irrua received the lab result which was confirmed positive to the Lassa virus.

The state government has therefore advised residents in the state not to panic, “as the Ministry of Health officials are on top of the situation, doing contact tracing on those who had contact with the victim.”

The state government added that findings indicate that it is over 21 days since the victim presented at the hospital in Umuolu and Kwale and no case has been discovered, however, contact tracing is ongoing at FMC, Asaba.

As part of safety measures to check the spread, residents in the state are advised to cultivate good personal hygiene, clean and fumigate their environment, promote community hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes and protect food from rats, and to report any case of strange fever to the nearest hospital.

Nigeria’s Lassa Fever Outbreak Contained, But Vigilance Needed – WHO

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nasarawa, Kills One Person
File photo

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised the Federal Government for containing the spread of Lassa Fever outbreak in the country while calling for a continued vigilance.

A statement on Thursday by WHO’s spokesperson, Charity Warigon, quoted its Regional Emergencies Director for Africa, Dr Ibrahima Fall, as saying.

“Nigeria is to be congratulated for reaching this important milestone in the fight against Lassa fever,” Fall said. “But we cannot let our foot off the pedal. We must use the lessons learnt to better prepare at risk countries in our region to conduct rapid detection and response.”

According to Warrigon, 423 confirmed cases, including 106 deaths, had been reported but that national case numbers had consistently declined in the past six weeks.

She further reiterated her organisation’s commitment by complementing the Federal Government’s efforts in eradicating the disease.

Meanwhile, thirty-seven health workers have been infected with Lassa fever, eight have died.

In preventing a reoccurrence of death, the global health body is advocating the need for the implementation of standard infection prevention and control precautions with all patients – regardless of their diagnosis – in all work practices at all times.

This is even as the Country Representative, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, encourages communities to report suspected cases of the viral disease to the nearest health center.

Alemu said, “Communities are encouraged to remain vigilant and report any rumors to the nearest health facilities because early diagnosis and treatment can save lives.”

Health care workers are urged to maintain a high index of suspicion for Lassa fever when handling patients, irrespective of their health status.

Symptoms of the disease are: Fever, headache, sore throat and general body weakness, especially when malaria has been ruled out with a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), and when patients are not improving.

Stressing further, Warrigon appeals to health workers to maintain standard precautions by wearing protective equipment like gloves, face masks, face shields and aprons when handling suspected Lassa fever patients.

WHO is monitoring and supporting Nigeria’s neighbouring countries to help improve their level of preparedness to readily respond to any potential outbreaks.

Abia Govt Partner FMC To Contain Lassa Fever Outbreak

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nasarawa, Kills One Person
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After the news of the demise of a female doctor due to Lassa Fever, the Abia State government and Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia have teamed up to contain the outbreak.

The state Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, held a joint press conference at the FMC in Umuahia, explaining the different measures put in place by the management of the hospital to contain the outbreak.

The Medical Director of the health center, Abali Chuku, during the conference expressed sadness over the death of the female doctor.

He added that various measures taken include enhanced surveillance, contact tracing and set up of relevant committees to review and strengthen the protocols’ way of handling emergency.

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“We want to assure members of the public that adequate measures have been put in place to contain the outbreak. Members of the public are advised to keep their surroundings clean and ensure that rats do not have access to their food and to report to the nearest health facility whenever they develop fever.

“All healthcare providers are hereby advised to maintain a high index of suspicion and always observe universal safety precautions while handling their patients,” he said.

He revealed that every person who had contact with the doctor before her death is currently under surveillance to avoid spread of the virus.

The Commissioner of Health, John Ahukanna in his reaction said there is no need for members of the public to panic because steps are been taken to stem the tide.

“Everybody in Abia State must take steps to ensure that this medical emergency does not go beyond what we have now. What we need to do at this stage is to keep the environment clean, not give space for rats to breed, and cultivate good hygiene,” he said.

Lassa Fever: EKSUTH Insists One Person Died

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nasarawa, Kills One Person
File photo

 

The Chief Medical Director, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital EKSUTH, Dr. Kolawole Ogundipe, has said that only two cases of Lassa fever were confirmed in the state this year which one of the patients died contrary to some reports.

Ogundipe told journalists in Ado the Ekiti State capital on Tuesday that the surviving patient sought voluntary transfer to one hospital in a neighbouring state after reasonable recovery.

”Contrary to some reports being spread, only two and not four cases of Lassa fever were recorded in this hospital. one died less than 24 hours after presentation while the other patient survived but sought to be transferred to another hospital on personal request” Ogundipe clarified.

The management of the hospital is also highlighting its increasing efforts to ensure emergencies classified as ”urgent” are accorded the desired speedy attention while ensuring that process of payment for services rendered is made easier for patients.

The CMD believes the hospital is weathering storms to keep an applaudable standard while insisting that quality health care delivery is not negotiable for any forward-looking country.