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Lassa fever death toll hits 110, 35 new cases recorded in five states


The latest Lassa fever outbreak in country has claimed 20 more lives, caused 35 confirmed new cases and 40 fresh suspected infections in 18 states within one week.

An update released yesterday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that between February 26 and March 4, 2018, 35 new confirmed cases were recorded in five states of 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)

According to the report, from January 1 to March 4, 2018, there were 1,121 suspected cases.

Of these, 353 are confirmed positive, eight are probable, 723 are negative and 37 are awaiting laboratory results as 18 states are active: (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti).


The NCDC also noted that since the onset of the 2018 outbreak, there have been 110 deaths: 78 in positive-confirmed cases, eight in probable cases and 24 in negative cases with Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in confirmed and probable cases at 23.8 per cent.

This is compared to figures released Monday last week, which showed the death toll rose from 73 to 90 persons and 913 to 1,081 suspected cases in less than one week across 18 States nationwide.

Meanwhile, the latest report from the NCDC showed that two health workers were confirmed positive last week in Ebonyi State and 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).

The NCDC said a total of 3,126 contacts have been identified from 18 active states of which 1586 are currently being followed up, 1485 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 predominant age group affected is 21-40 years with the male to female ratio for confirmed cases as 2:1. It noted that 85 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (44 per cent) Ondo (25 per cent) and Ebonyi (16 per cent).

The NCDC said cases currently on admission last weekend at Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo (35); Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owo, Ondo (18); and Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi (16) and that all isolation beds at the treatment facilities are occupied.

According to the NCDC’s latest update, the National Rapid Response Team (RRT) team made up of NCDC staff and the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) residents batch B continues response support in Ebonyi, Ondo and Edo states.

The Centre said it is collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and NCDC to scale up response at National and State levels and that Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine Germany is currently supporting Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) laboratories with testing.

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