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.

 

Nigeria’s Healthcare System ‘Not Perfect’, Needs Boost – Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora.

 

 

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, says the healthcare system in the country is not perfect.

Speaking during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise, he stated that the present situation was not one Nigeria cannot handle.

“We do have a health system that can cope but that is not to say it is perfect. We still need to do a lot of health system strengthening,” the minister said on Saturday.

READ ALSO: 11 More People Die As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 132

Mamora believes a bulk of what should be done is at the grassroots where the people can be better enlightened and educated on how to take care of themselves.

He stated, “The healthcare delivery is a pyramid and at the base of that pyramid is the primary health because that is where you can easily give information to the people.

“The bulk of our people still live in the rural area and that’s one of the areas where the primary health is supposed to serve.”

 

The minister spoke about the efforts of the Federal Government towards tackling the spread of coronavirus and Lassa fever.

He stressed the need to pay more attention to the outbreak of Lassa which has killed scores of people in the country.

 

132 Killed

Mamora said, “Ebola, coronavirus (COVID-19); these are imported [disease], not something with us. But Lassa is with us, and it’s mainly an environmental issue which we need to deal with.

“The hype, the hysteria, the fear attached to COVID-19 essentially has to do with the ease of transmission. That why it is going viral all over the world … and it is no respecter of anyone.”

On Wednesday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its latest situation report said 11 more people have died from the outbreak of Lassa fever since the beginning of the year.

The deaths were recorded in the ninth week which covered between 24 February and March 1, bringing the number of people killed to 132 in 2020.

The NCDC noted that a total of 85 new cases were confirmed in the week from Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Taraba, and Kebbi States.

It said in total, 27 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 118 Local Government Areas since the beginning of the year.

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.

Lassa Fever Kills 16 People In Ondo

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
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Sixteen people have been confirmed killed as a result of Lassa Fever outbreak in Ondo State.

The State Chief Epidemiologist, Dr Steven Fagbemi, disclosed this on Tuesday at the governor’s office in the Government House in Akure, the state capital.

Dr Fagbemi made the disclosure while briefing Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, as well as the local government chairmen from Ondo North and Central senatorial districts of the state.

He also revealed that 84 cases have been reported so far in the state since January 1, 2020.

According to the epidemiologist, 16 of the patients have passed on as their cases had reached the advanced stage before they were taken to the hospital.

He added that 47 patients on admission were responding to treatment, while 21 others had already been treated and discharged.

The outbreak is said to have affected Owo, Akoko South-West, Akure South, and Ondo West Local Government Areas of the state.

Also confirming the outbreak, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, noted that the disease has been occurring in the state for some years, especially during the dry season.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to visit hospitals when they noticed symptoms of fever.

Earlier, Governor Akeredolu advised the local government chairmen in the state to deploy cleaners to markets and public places to prevent the outbreak of diseases.

He also called on residents to maintain a high level of hygiene to curtail further spread of the Lassa virus in the state.

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.

READ ALSO: Students Ask Taraba Govt To Address Issues Raised By Striking Lecturers

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:

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.”

READ ALSOFG Applies For Onnoghen To Step Aside

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.

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nasarawa, Kills One Person

Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nasarawa, Kills One Person
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Lassa Fever has resurfaced in Nasarawa State, killing one person out of the 15 suspected cases receiving attention at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi.

Director of Public Health of the State Ministry of Health, Dr Ibrahim Adamu, confirmed this to Channels Television on Friday in Lafia, the state capital.

Dr Adamu also said relatives of the deceased have all been tested and are under surveillance.

He said, “For the past two months, we have had a couple of suspected cases of Lassa fever in Nasarawa State and all of them turned out negative.

“We have screened about fifteen people and all of them are negative except for one that we made a diagnosis posthumously as a positive case.

“So out of all the fifteen cases that we suspected only one was confirmed to have Lassa fever and that was the patient that was attended to at the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.”

Adamu also reiterated the administration of the state government in containing the spread of the disease.

This, he explained, has led to sensitisation campaigns in notable media houses for the residents of the state to take some precautionary steps.

Adamu added, “Nasarawa state is Lassa fever endemic. We know we have attacks of Lassa fever so at all times we do sensitisation activities by putting the radio and television jingles in the media houses and also sensitisation workshops for the health workers.

“We have also prepositioned the drugs that we use for the treatment of the disease and the personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health workers to wear in order to attend to the patients.

We have also try to inform and encourage the communities to maintain a high level of personal and environmental hygiene to have a rat-proof environment so as to do away with rats as much as they can, cover their food in rat-proof containers.

“Those are the measures that we have put in place and they are ongoing”, he said.

More to follow…

Ondo Govt. Sensitises Residents On Lassa Fever

Lassa-Fever-in-OndoResidents of Ondo State have been advised to maintain a healthy environment and avoid rats from getting in contact with their food, so as to prevent the spread of Lassa fever in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, stated this on Thursday at a sensitisation meeting on the management and control of Lassa fever held in Owo town of Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

The meeting comes up after a case of the viral disease was confirmed at the Federal Medical Centre in the town, while two other suspected cases are still being investigated.

The Commissioner had earlier stopped on the highway between Akure ‎and Owo to educate some residents on the need to stop spreading food substances such as cassava and yam flour near bushes, in order to prevent rats from contaminating the food.

He ‎disclosed that the state government had made funds available to procure the equipment for testing the disease, as the victims pass through a lot of suffering which worsens their situation when they are being transferred to Edo State for treatment.

Speaking to reporters, a public health physician, Dr. Olufemi Ayodeji, explained the cause of the disease and how it is transmitted.

He said that the symptoms of Lassa fever include body pains, vomiting and the regular fever just like malaria, saying it could only be diagnosed through medical tests on the victims.

The Vice Chairman of Owo Local Government, Mr Olusola Owadasa and the traditional ruler‎ of one of the towns in the area, Oba Omotunde Adako, voiced their support for the sensitisation programme.

They promised to help disseminate relevant information and also educate their people about the disease.

Ondo Confirms Lassa Fever Case, Suspects Two Others

lassa fever in OndoOne confirmed case and two suspected cases of Lassa fever have been identified in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, made the disclosure on Wednesday in an interview with reporters in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Dr. Adeyanju said the confirmed case, which occurred in Owo, was identified at the Federal‎ Medical Centre located in the town and had been referred to the General Hospital Irrua in Edo State for treatment.

He added that the samples of the tests conducted on the two suspected cases have also been sent to the hospital.

The Commissioner disclosed further that health officers were keeping tab on five contacts of the patients, in order to curtail the spread of the disease that have also been detected in some other states in Nigeria.

He informed reporters that emergency operation centres and surveillance operations across the state have been very active.

Adeyanju noted that widespread sensitisation programmes were ongoing, assuring the residents of the state that there was no cause for alarm.

Troops Clear Nine Boko Haram Strongholds In Borno

Troops of 115 Task Force Battallion under 28 Task Force Brigade have, in a major boost, cleared nine more Boko Haram terrorists strongholds around Lassa axis of Borno State. 

A statement by a military spokesman, Colonel Tukur Gusau, said the troops cleared Lassa, Muthavo, Dagu Kumabza, Isge, Unworo Zangore, Kilekasa And Pumpum while on clearance operations between November 3 and 5.

During the offensive, four Boko Haram terrorists met their waterloo in the hands of gallant troops of the Nigerian Army.

Some of the terrorists fled, abandoning their weapons. The military spokesman said they left seven den guns.

In a related development on Thursday, Troops of 25 TF Bde, conducted another offensive operations along Korede axis in Damboa Local Government Area of the state.

In the operations, three motorcycles, suspected to be used during the last Sunday’s attack on Azir village, were recovered along with stolen food stuffs from the village.

Terrorists observation posts were destroyed in a high ground in Korede.

“While the fighting spirit of the troops remain very high, they have continued to dominate roads leading to Azir, Wajikoro, Damboa and Biu towns to deny Boko Haram Terrorists any possible freedom of activities in the area,” the statement added.

 

 

LASAA Mobilises Electronic Billboard Operators On Ebola Sensitisation

George Noah Managing Director of LASSAA 1In a related development, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASSA) is collaborating with  Advertising Agencies in the State to commence a public awareness campaign aimed at containing the spread of Ebola Virus Disease.  

The initiative would involve the use of electronic billboards in conveying messages about Ebola disease in strategic locations across the State.

According to the Managing Director of the Agency, Mr George Noah, the campaign would focus on key areas related to the spread and management of the disease, focusing on modes of transmission, preventive measures, symptoms and helplines.

Mr Noah explained that the messages on the billboard would enlighten the public more about the disease and the need to adopt preventive measures.

The President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, Mr Charles Chijide, said that the initiative would play a major role in sensitising the public on the Ebola scourge insisting that the battle was a collective responsibility of all and would be won through novel ideas.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the worst in history since it was detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan in 1976. Since early 2014, Ebola had claimed the lives of over 1,500 people in the West African nations of  Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Army To Apply New Approach In Fight Against Terror- Olukolade

As part of efforts to curtail the activities of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, military authorities in Abuja say a new approach to contain the activities of the terrorists through renewed counter-terrorism campaign has been put in place.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade said the terrorists are simply out to intimidate people into subscribing to their false claim of invincibility and reinvent relevance by embarking on renewed attacks on soft targets.

General Olukolade who appealed to residents of the north east to report unusual movement to security agencies, reaffirmed the commitment of the security agencies to stop members of the sect from causing further mayhem in the country.

Several people were killed in an early dawn attack by the Boko Haram sect in Adamawa and Borno states. At the Catholic Seminary, near Lassa in Borno state, at least five bodies were recovered. Two security men and three catholic nuns were among the dead.

An unspecified number of people were killed in Michika, Adamawa state, with several sensitive public facilities burnt. An unconfirmed report claimed that nine people were killed in the attack.

Some of the residents told the News Agency of Nigeria on phone on Thursday that the attackers arrived the town around 9pm to unleash the mayhem for about five hours.

“They burnt three banks, a police station, shops and part of the Michika Local Government Council secretariat. They came in nine Toyota Hilux vans firing guns and throwing explosives,” a resident who simply identified himself as Fide said.

It was further learnt that several people were injured in the attacks while efforts were on to get more of the injured and those killed from nearby bushes. The scores of suspected Boko Haram Islamists who carried out the attack were armed with grenade launchers and explosives.