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156 Dead As Nigeria Records 857 Lassa Fever Cases In Four Months

One hundred and fifty-six people have died from Lassa Fever across the country in the last four months, Nigeria’s health authorities have said.

This is as Africa’s most populous nation recorded 857 cases of Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF), according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

In its latest Lassa fever situation report which covers January to 28 April, the public health agency said the fatalities were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.2 per cent which is higher than 17.0 per cent recorded in the same period in 2023.

The NCDC report covered 28 out of the 36 states of the federation for week 17 spanning from 22-28 April, and also noted an increase in the number of confirmed cases from 11 in week 16 to 14 in the reporting week.

According to the reports, 63 per cent of all the confirmed cases in 2024 were from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi while 37 per cent were reported from 25 states.

When compared to the 2023 report, the suspected cases increased from 5,084 cases to 5,963 cases in 2024.

No Health Worker Affected
Giving further details, the NCDC said no health worker was affected in the reporting week, adding that the predominant age group affected by Lassa fever is 21-30 years.

It said the national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The agency also highlighted some of the challenges in its fight against Lassa fever across the country, listing late presentation of the cases leading to an increase in CFR, and poor health-seeking behaviour due to the high cost of treatment and clinical management.

Other challenges are poor environmental sanitation conditions and poor awareness reportedly observed in high-burden communities, the report indicated.

It further stated that the number of suspected cases in 2024 (5963) increased when compared to that which was reported in the same period in 2023 (5084). CHANNELS

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