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Nigeria records 162 Lassa fever death cases

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By Abiodun Okunloye

People should follow guidelines and report symptoms of Lassa Fever to health officials.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a notable rise in confirmed cases of Lassa Fever, leading to a total of 162 reported deaths In 2024. They are advising the public to follow safety guidelines and promptly notify local health officials of any symptoms they may experience. With the information released on the NCDC official website, a total of 10 instances of the disease were reported in four different states within the span of one week, from the 20th to the 26th of May.

Lassa Fever is a severe viral disease that causes excessive bleeding. The virus is spread to humans by coming into contact with food or household objects that have been contaminated by infected rodents or people. Symptoms of Lassa Fever include fever, headache, sore throat, overall body fatigue, nausea, vomiting, cough, muscle aches, diarrhea, and chest discomfort. In extreme situations, unexplained bleeding may occur from various openings in the body, such as ears, mouth, eyes, nose, and other parts.

There were 897 confirmed cases and 162 fatalities in the year 2024.

The Centre reported a spike in confirmed cases from four to ten between week 20 and the current reporting week 21. Along with the increase in confirmed cases, there was also a rise in suspected cases compared to the corresponding period in 2023. In total, the nation has reported 897 confirmed cases and 162 fatalities in the year 2024, resulting in a case death rate of 18.1%. This is an increase from the 17.1% CFR reported in 2023 for the same time period.

In 2024, reports show that 28 states in the country have documented cases in a total of 125 local government areas. The data indicates that the majority of the cases, amounting to 65%, originated from just four states which include Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, and Plateau. The remaining 35% of cases were distributed among the remaining 25 states. According to the report, Ondo State had the highest percentage of cases at 25%, followed by Edo at 22% and Bauchi at 18%. The NCDC noted that individuals aged between 31 and 40 were most commonly affected by the illness and highlighted that no healthcare workers reported being infected during the week.

Monitoring and preventive actions nationwide are needed.

Also, the recent increase has emphasised the escalating worry and the necessity for increased monitoring and preventive actions nationwide. NCDC stated that they are ramping up contact tracing and control measures to limit the disease’s spread. They assured me they would closely watch the situation and collaborate with state health authorities for a unified approach. It was reported that the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Technical Working Group is still managing the response across various levels.

As the number of cases increases, it is, therefore, crucial for individuals to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their communities. The increasing spread of the virus highlights the importance of effective communication between health officials and the public to ensure prompt reporting of any symptoms and adherence to safety guidelines. By staying informed and following recommended practices, individuals can help prevent further outbreaks and mitigate the impact of Lassa Fever on the population.

Related Article: Nigeria battles Lassa fever outbreak

Lastly, the data provided by the health agency underscores the urgent need for coordinated efforts at both the local and national levels to contain the spread of Lassa Fever. With a significant number of cases reported in multiple states, authorities must implement comprehensive strategies for surveillance, contact tracing, and treatment. By working together and pooling resources, health agencies can better respond to the evolving situation and prevent the further loss of lives due to this deadly virus.


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