NCDC Alerts States As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 102

A file photo of an NCDC official and two others on duty.

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has sent letters to states to alert the authorities on the disturbing trend of Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

In its latest situation report on the disease published recently, the agency revealed that a total of 102 infected people died from the disease in 2021.

A breakdown of the report on Week 52 which covers December 27, 2021, to January 2, 2022, shows that three new deaths were recorded.

“In week 52, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 29 in week 51, 2021 to 28 cases,” it stated. “These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Kaduna and Taraba States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 52, 2021, 102 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 20.0% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2020 (20.7%). In total for 2021, 17 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 68 Local Government Areas.”

READ ALSO: Six More Patients Die As NCDC Confirms 537 New COVID-19 Cases

Of all the cases confirmed last year, three states accounted for 84 per cent – Edo (42 per cent), Ondo (34 per cent), and Bauchi (eight per cent).

The predominant age group affected, according to the NCDC, is 21-30 years while the male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1 : 0.9.

 

It, however, indicated that the number of suspected cases decreased compared to the figure reported for the same period in 2020.

While no new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting Week 52, the NCDC gave an assurance that the national Lassa fever multi-partner and multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) have continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

In a bid to further tackle the disease in the new year, the NCDC said it was conducting high burden states preparedness/response engagement meeting.

It added that the National Emergency Operations Centre alert mode has been activated for effective multisectoral and multi-disciplinary coordination, stressing that the State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre has been triggered in affected states.

“The five Lassa fever molecular laboratories in the NCDC network are working full capacity to ensure that all samples are tested, and results provided within the shortest turnaround time,” the agency said.

“Confirmed cases are treated at identified treatment centres across the states. Dissemination of reviewed case management and safe burial practices guidelines. Risk communications and community engagement activities have been scaled up across states using television, radio, print, social media and other strategies.”

 

NCDC also said it has deployed rapid response teams to three states and the Federal Ministry of Environment has implemented Lassa fever environmental response campaign in high burden states.

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever first reported in the Lassa community in Borno State when two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness.

Since then, Nigeria has continued to report cases and outbreaks and the disease is increasingly recognised to be endemic in many parts of West Africa such as Benin Republic, Ghana, Mali and the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea).

People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Lassa Fever: New Deaths In Bauchi, Ebonyi As Nigeria’s Toll Rises To 92

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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Bauchi and Ebonyi States have recorded new deaths from Lassa fever as the nation’s toll from the disease since the beginning of 2021 rises to 92.

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

Data from the report for Week 50, which covered December 13 to 19, revealed that three more deaths were reported in the week under review.

While Bauch reported two new fatalities, Ebonyi recorded a new death from the disease.

“Cumulatively from Week 1 to Week 50, 2021, 92 deaths have been reported with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 20.3 per cent, which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2020 (20.7 per cent),” part of the report read.

 

READ ALSO: NCDC Reports 859 New COVID-19 Cases, Two More Deaths

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever first reported in the Lassa community in Borno State when two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness.

Since then, Nigeria has continued to report cases and outbreaks and the disease is increasingly recognised to be endemic in many parts of West Africa such as Benin Republic, Ghana, Mali and the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea).

According to the NCDC, a total of 190 new cases were suspected in 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but just 10 cases were confirmed in four states.

 

They include Edo – two, Ondo – four, Bauchi – three, and Ebonyi – one, and two of them are healthcare workers.

The number of new confirmed cases, the agency stated, is the same as the figure reported in the previous week.

“In total for 2021, 17 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 66 Local Government Areas,” it said. “Of all confirmed cases, 83 per cent are from Edo (43 per cent), Ondo (35 per cent), and Taraba (five per cent) States.

“The predominant age group affected is 21 – 30 years (range: <1 to 70 years, Median Age: 29 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases has decreased compared to that reported for the same period in 2020.”

 

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Lassa Fever: 434 Cases, 80 Deaths Recorded In 2021 – NCDC

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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The statistics by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have revealed that 434 cases of Lassa fever have been recorded in Nigeria in 2021.

According to NCDC’s recent Lassa Fever situation report, at least 80 persons were confirmed to have died of the disease this year.

The states affected by the infections include Edo (192), Ondo (150), Taraba (21), Ebonyi (17), Bauchi (15), Benue (8), Plateau (8), Kaduna (7), Enugu (5), Nasarawa (3), Kogi (3), Cross River (1),  Imo (1), Anambra (1), Delta (1), and Abia (1).

“The disease is endemic in Nigeria like in several other countries in West Africa, and most cases are seen during the dry season, often between November and May. Since January 2021, a total of 434 confirmed cases with 80 deaths (i.e., a case fatality rate of 18%) have been reported from seventeen (17) States and sixty-three (63) Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria. See the latest situation report here (https://ncdc.gov.ng/diseases/sitreps).

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Hit All New High With 1,424 New Infections

“Since 2016, NCDC has worked hard to significantly improve diagnostic capacity for the disease. Currently, seven laboratories have the capacity to test for Lassa fever in Nigeria and this is coordinated by the NCDC National Reference Laboratory (NRL). This has improved active case detection and care for affected individuals which may have gone unnoticed five years ago. In addition, Nigeria through NCDC is participating in the largest-ever Lassa fever study supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) to provide an accurate assessment of the incidence of the disease in West Africa. This is also geared towards the development of vaccine and therapeutics for Lassa fever,” the NCDC report read in part.

According to the report, two persons died from Lassa fever on the 8th of December.

The first case was a pregnant woman who presented in a health facility in Nasarawa State and the next one, a medical doctor involved in the management of the patient that later sought medical care in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In addition, another medical doctor linked to the index case has also been confirmed to have Lassa fever and he is currently receiving medical care in FCT. The Nasarawa State Ministry of Health with support of NCDC has commenced an in-depth epidemiological investigation of the cases to understand the possible source of infection and the extent of the spread of the disease. Contact tracing of all the close contacts of the patients has commenced.

Lassa Fever Claims 80 Lives In Ondo State

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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Lassa fever has recorded more fatalities than the much pronounced Coronavirus disease in Ondo State as the disease has killed 80 persons since January 2020.

According to the figures given by the Acting Commissioner for Health in the State, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, COVID-19 deaths also stand at 31.

Adeyeye gave the figures in Ondo town while hosting a team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital on Thursday.

The team was in the hospital to inspect the ongoing Molecular Biology Laboratory and the new isolation centre.

The Acting Commissioner for Health noted that less than two per cent of COVID-19 patients in the state died, while 27 per cent of those infected with Lassa fever lost their lives.

He emphasised that the government could not afford to pay much attention to COVID-19, neglecting other health problems peculiar to the state.

Adeyeye revealed that governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu gave the directive that the laboratory should be put in place in order to effectively combat any Infectious disease occurring in the state.

Emergency Phase For Lassa Fever Outbreak Now Over – NCDC

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

 

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has declared the emergency phase of the 2020 Lassa fever outbreak, over.

This, according to the agency, follows a successive decline in cases below the emergency threshold, and an epidemiological review carried out by it (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On January 24, 2020, the NCDC had declared a Lassa fever outbreak and activated a national Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

This was in response to an increase in Lassa fever cases at the beginning of the year, exceeding the threshold for an outbreak.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, 979 confirmed cases including 188 deaths have been recorded from 27 States including the Federal Capital Territory as of April 19, 2020.

But according to the NCDC, the Lassa fever case count has significantly declined in the last three weeks and has now dropped below levels considered to be a national emergency.

“It is important to highlight that this year, there was a decline in case fatality of Lassa fever, from 23% in 2019 to 19% in 2020,” the agency said in a statement.

The agency noted that its strategic response was based on five key priorities:

1. Improved preparedness through training of health workers across the country and a nationwide communications campaign before the outbreak

2. Early deployment of One-Health Rapid Response Teams to affected States and deployment of surge staff to treatment centres

3. Establishment of new treatment centres and strengthening of existing treatment centres

4. Distribution of medical, laboratory, treatment and infection prevention and control supplies to all states with confirmed cases

5. Implementation of Lassa fever Environmental response campaign in high burden states by the Federal Ministry of Environment

Despite the end of the emergency phase of the outbreak, the NCDC says it will continue to coordinate the national multisectoral Lassa fever Technical Working Group (TWG).

This TWG would ensure continuous monitoring of cases, as well as the strengthening of Lassa fever surveillance, diagnostic, treatment and other response activities across all levels in Nigeria.

Lassa Fever Kills Three As Nigeria Records 12 New Cases

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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Nigeria has recorded twelve new cases of the Lassa fever with three deaths between March 30 and April 5 2020, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 

The NCDC revealed this in its week 14 report of Lassa fever shared on its official Twitter handle, Thursday.

According to the report by the agency, the new cases were reported in the following states: Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Sokoto.

READ ALSO: NCDC Reviews Number Of Bauchi COVID-19 Cases, Apologises For Error

The report further explained that “In week 14, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 19 cases in week 13, 2020 to 12 cases.”

It added that no health worker was affected in the report for week 14, revealing further that one hundred and eighty eight (188) persons have died of Lassa fever in the country since the start of the year.

Lassa fever, a viral haemorrhagic fever, is endemic in some parts of West Africa and is mostly passed on via food contaminated with infected rat urine or faeces.

Also, it has an incubation period of between six and twenty-one days and can be transmitted via contact with an infected person through bodily fluids and excretion.

 

Lassa Fever: 185 Killed, 951 Cases Confirmed In 2020 – NCDC

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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A total of 185 people have died of Lassa fever with 951 cases confirmed in the country since the beginning of the year 2020.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed this in its latest situation report on the disease for week 13 posted on its Twitter handle on Thursday.

It noted that the number of new cases confirmed decreased from 28 cases in week 12 to 19 cases in the reporting week.

According to the agency, the new cases were reported in eight states of Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Taraba, Plateau, Kogi, and Delta.

It added that one new death from Lassa fever was reported in week 13 while the predominant age-group affected was 21-30 years.

Lassa fever, a viral haemorrhagic fever, is endemic in some parts of West Africa and is usually passed on through food contaminated with infected rat urine or faeces.

In 80 per cent of cases, the fever is asymptomatic but for some, the symptoms include high fever, headache, mouth ulcers, muscle aches, haemorrhaging under the skin and heart and kidney failure.

It has an incubation period of between six and 21 days and can be transmitted through contact with an infected person via bodily fluids and excretion.

Doctor Dies of Lassa Fever In Edo State

Ogun State Declares 396, Others Free Of Lassa Fever
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The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors has confirmed the death of one of its members from Lassa fever.

President of the Association, Aliyu Sokomba told Channels Television that the medical doctor who worked in Benue state, died today at the Irua Specialist Hospital in Edo state due to complications of Lassa fever he contracted while treating infected patients. He also said that few other doctors have also lost their lives to the deadly disease.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 12 New COVID-19 Infections, Total Cases Rise To 151

The NARD President also raised a concern that many medical doctors across the country may have contacted the covid -19 disease due to the hazards they expose themselves to while attending to patients without adequate protection.

While he stressing the lack of personal protective equipment, including masks,surgical masks in most of the hospital across the country in the face of the battle to contain the COVID -19 pandemic globally, the NARD President called on the Federal, State and Local governments to kindly reward the medical doctors with an upward review of their hazard allowance to 200,000, as well as providing them with life insurance and improved infrastructures in the hospitals.

He also stressed the need for proper monitoring and distribution of equipments and funds donated for the fight against COVID -!9.

“Every other day we hear of several donations being made by corporate bodies and other several well meaning Nigerians ,yet still we do not have gloves,appropriate masks in our hospital.

Currently we go home with a nibbling fear of death of infecting our loved ones incases of contracting the disease.

In the face of all this, we still go home with the paltry sum of 5000 as hazard allowance monthly,” the NARD President stated.

11 More People Die As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 132

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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No fewer than 11 more people have died from the outbreak of Lassa fever since the beginning of the year.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the figure in its latest situation report on the disease.

It explained that the patients lost their lives to the disease in the ninth week which covers between 24 February and March 1, bringing the number of people killed to 132 in 2020.

READ ALSO: Lassa Fever Kills 118 People In Eight Weeks – NCDC

The health agency noted that the number of new confirmed cases in week nine decreased to 85 compared to the 102 cases recorded in the previous week.

States, where the cases were reported, included Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Taraba, and Kebbi.

In total, the NCDC said 27 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 118 Local Government Areas in 2020.

A breakdown of the figure shows that 73 per cent of the confirmed cases are from Edo – 34 per cent, Ondo – 32 per cent, and Ebonyi – seven per cent.

“The number of suspected cases has significantly increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2019.

“One new health care worker was affected in Edo state in the reporting week 09,” the report revealed.

Lassa Fever Kills 118 People In Eight Weeks – NCDC

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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The number of people killed from the outbreak of Lassa fever since the beginning of the year has risen to 118.

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

It explained that the figure covered between January 1 and February 23.

No fewer than 2,633 cases of Lassa fever have been reported since the beginning of the year, out of which 689 cases were confirmed to be positive.

The cases were reported in 115 local government areas from 27 states of the Federation.

 

In the eighth week – February 17-23 – which the latest NCDC report focused on, 102 of 456 reported cases from 46 local government areas from 18 states were confirmed.

The states include Ondo, Ebonyi, Edo, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Lagos, Enugu, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Sokoto, Taraba, Delta, Rivers, Adamawa, and Nasarawa.

A total of four new healthcare workers were also affected in Edo and Ondo States in the reporting week.

The NCDC confirmed that the number of suspected cases has significantly increased compared to the figure reported for the same period in 2019.

 

EU Supports Nigeria With N32m To Tackle Lassa Fever

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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The European Commission has announced the allocation of €80,000 (N32 million) in humanitarian funding to assist families affected by the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria.

The commission announced this in a statement by a press officer with the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Modestus Chukwulaka.

According to the statement, the funds will go towards supporting the Nigerian Red Cross in promoting hygiene practices and disease transmission control, as well as contribute to the identification of suspected cases, supporting contact tracing, and providing psychosocial support.

The commission was hopeful that the humanitarian aid would directly benefit communities in areas most affected by the outbreak.

It explained that the funding formed part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“In the two most affected states, Ondo and Edo, the main actions will focus on health education on signs and symptoms, prevention measure and behavioural change in food storage and handling; pest control activities, such as the distribution of rat traps/rat glues; and psychosocial support to affected people and their families.

“In another four states (Bauchi, Ebonyi, Taraba and Kano), awareness-raising initiatives will be launched for the general public, including the distribution of educational material and informative radio messages,” the statement read.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF), transmitted by rodents to humans, who become infected through contact with the excreta of infected rats, contaminated surfaces or food, and body fluids of infected persons.

While about 80 per cent of the infections go with no symptoms, other patients develop severe multi-system disease, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said.

Since the first week of January 2020, no fewer than 680 suspected cases have been reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), of which over 250 were confirmed as positive.

While Nigeria is prone to Lassa fever outbreaks during the dry season (November to April), the number of affected people – both suspected and confirmed – in 2020 is higher than in previous years.

63 Placed Under Surveillance In Lagos Over Lassa Fever

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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The Lagos State government has placed 63 people under surveillance over fears that they may have been infected by a Lassa Fever patient.

The Commissioner for Health in the state, Professor Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement issued by the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbamwo.

This comes a day after the state recorded its first case of the virus, making the patient to be isolated, receiving treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

“We have one case of Lassa in Lagos, the patient is in isolation and receiving adequate care, 63 people that may have been in contact with the patient and who may have been infected by process of being in contact with him have been identified and are being monitored.

“If they develop any of the symptoms, we will pick them up early, test and isolate them so that we break the circle of transmission,” he said.

READ ALSO: Are You Midwives Of Good Things For Nigeria? Lumumba Asks NASS

Speaking further the Commissioner noted that a male student from Ebonyi State came to the Nigeria Law School in the state and presented himself at the clinic of the School when he fell ill.

Abayomi said the victim was transferred to the Nigerian Air Force Clinic, Onikan when he failed to respond to treatment before being moved to LUTH.

“His destination was the Lagos Law School where he was quickly attended to at the clinic but was not getting well after being treated for malaria,” he said.

“He was then referred to the Nigerian Air Force Clinic, Onikan, where he was managed further and was referred to LUTH when there was no improvement.

“The test was confirmed as positive on February 17, 2020, and he was immediately transferred to the isolation containment facility in LUTH.”