Breaking: NCDC Records 25 New Cases Of Lassa Fever

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it recorded 25 new cases of Lassa fever between Feb.11 and Feb. 17 across the country. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known on Friday in Abuja. Lassa-fever Ihekweazu said that the 25 new cases brought the number of confirmed cases to 355 out of 1,139 suspected cases recorded since Jan. 1 in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

NCDC confirms yellow fever outbreak in Edo He said under the reporting week 07 that out of the total cases, three were probable while 781 tested negative. He said that a total of 75 deaths had been recorded since the onset of the outbreak. According to him, Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo and Kebbi states as well as FCT each recorded at least one confirmed case.

He noted that one new health worker was affected in Edo, adding that a total of 13 healthcare workers had so far been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states. The NCDC boss said 88 patients were hospitalised at the designated centres. He said that 31 were hospitalised in Irrua, 28 in Owo, three in Abakiliki, 11 in Bauchi, seven in Plateau, seven in Taraba and one in Kebbi.  Ihekweazu also said that a total of 3,872 people suspected to have contacts with those infected had been identified across 18 states. He stressed that 2,600 of the suspected contacts were being followed while 1,227 had completed the mandatory 21 days of follow up to be sure they show no symptoms. He also stated that four persons died of the disease during the follow up while 63 symptomatic contacts had been identified of whom 41 tested positive.Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms. When symptoms occur they typically include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pains. Less commonly there may be bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract. The risk of death once infected is about one percent and frequently occurs within two weeks of the onset of symptoms. Among those who survive about a quarter have hearing loss, which improves over time in about half.The disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected multimammate rat. Spread can then occur via direct contact between people.[1] Diagnosis based on symptoms is difficult. Confirmation is by laboratory testing to detect the virus’s RNA, antibodies for the virus, or the virus itself in cell culture. Other conditions that may present similarly include Ebola, malaria, typhoid fever, and yellow fever.The Lassa virus is a member of the Arenaviridae family of viruses.

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