Centre confirms 39 new cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 39 new cases of Lassa fever, recorded between February 25 and March 3 in six states.

NCDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known in a statement  in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that 1,447 suspected cases had been reported from 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from January 1 to March 3.

He said that 420 of the figure were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 939 negative.

According to him, from the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 93 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 22.1per cent.

The NCDC boss said that Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River states and FCT, had recorded at least one confirmed case in 66 Local Government Areas.

He, however, noted that in the ninth week, no new health care worker was affected.

Ihekweazu said that 15 healthcare workers had been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states.

The NCDC said that 69 patients were hospitalised at designated centres for managing the illness: 34 in Irrua; 16 in Owo; two in Abakiliki; two in Bauchi, five in Plateau; seven in Taraba; one in Gombe; one in Kaduna, and one in Kebbi.

He said that 4,902 people suspected to have had contact with those infected, had been identified in 19 states.

Ihekweazu said that 1,926 of the suspected contacts were being followed up; another 2,923 had completed the mandatory 21 days of follow up, to be sure they did not show any symptoms.

He noted that four persons were lost to follow up, and 80 symptomatic contacts were identified, of which 49 tested positive.

The CEO said multi-sectoral one health national rapid response teams, including NCDC, NFELTP, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Federal Ministry of Environment, were deployed to Ondo, Edo, Taraba and Ebonyi.

National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.