Disease Control centre announces new cases of Lassa fever

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC has announced 35 new confirmed cases of Lassa fever.

The cases were recorded from five States: Edo (19), Ondo (five), Bauchi (one), Ebonyi (nine), and Plateau (one), with seven new deaths in confirmed cases from three States Ondo (two), Edo (two), and Ebonyi (three).

It says that from January 1 to March 4, 2018, there have been a total of 1,121 suspected cases.

It says of these, 353 are confirmed positive, eight are probable, 723 are negative (not a case) and 37 are  awaiting laboratory results (pending).

Eighteen States are active (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti)

The release says that two health workers were also confirmed positive this week in Ebonyi State.

And that cumulatively, 16 health care workers have been affected in six States: Ebonyi (nine), Nasarawa (one), Kogi (one),  Benue (one), Ondo (one) and Edo (three) with four deaths in Ebonyi (three) and Kogi (one).

Predominant age-group affected is 21-40 years (Range: nine months to 92 years, Median Age: 34 years) – Figure five. The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 2:1; 85% of all confirmed cases are from Edo (44%) Ondo (25%) and Ebonyi (16%) States.

Cases currently on admission this weekend at Irrua Specialist Hospital (35), FMC Owo (18) and FETH Abakiliki (16) all isolation beds at the treatment facilities occupied.

The NCDC also said that the National Rapid Response Team are continuing response support in Ebonyi, Ondo and Edo States.

A total of 3,126 contacts have been identified from 18 active States.

Of these, 1,586 are currently being followed up, 1,485 have completed 21 days follow up and 21 of the 47 symptomatic contacts have tested positive from three States (Edo-11, Ondo-seven and Ebonyi-three).

The WHO and NCDC have scaled up response at National and State levels.

Sammie Idika