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NCDC confirms nine new cases of Lassa fever, two deaths


• Says first confirmed case in Enugu died within one week
• Centre blames outbreak on poor environmental sanitation conditions
• Insurgency hindering polio eradication in Nigeria, says NPHCDA

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday confirmed nine new cases of Lassa fever epidemic with two deaths, in one week, including the first confirmed case in Enugu State since beginning of outbreak.

The NCDC, however, blamed the persistent outbreak of Lassa fever in the country on poor environmental sanitation conditions observed in high burden communities.

Latest figures from the NCDC published yesterday stated: “In the reporting Week 31 (July 30-August 5, 2018), nine new confirmed cases were reported from Edo (seven), Ondo (one) and Enugu (one) with two new deaths from Edo (one) and Enugu (one).


According to the NCDC report, 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 72 local councils (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia, Adamawa and Enugu – the new addition). Nineteen states have exited the active phase of the outbreak while three – Edo Ondo and Enugu states – remain active.

The Centre noted that no new healthcare worker was infected but 39 healthcare workers have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states – Ebonyi (16), Edo (14), Ondo (four), Kogi (two), Nasarawa (one), Taraba (one) and Abia (one) with 10 deaths in Ebonyi (six), Kogi (one), Abia (one), Ondo (one) and Edo (one).

According to the NCDC, 82 per cent of all confirmed cases are from three states; Edo (44 per cent), Ondo (24 per cent) and Ebonyi (14 per cent) while 10 patients are currently being managed at treatment centres – seven at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) and three at the Federal Medical Centre Owo Treatment Centre.

The Centre noted that a total of 6,383 contacts have been identified from 22 states. Of these, 439 (6.9 per cent) are currently being followed up, 5,846 (91.6 per cent) have completed 21 days follow up while 10 (0.2 per cent) were lost to follow up. 88 (1.4 per cent) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 30 (34 per cent) have tested positive from five states (Edo-14, Ondo-eight, Ebonyi-three, Kogi–three, Bauchi-one and Adamawa-one).

In another development, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has attributed security challenges ravaging the North-East and other parts of Nigeria as factors preventing the eradication of poliomylietis in the country.

Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who stated this yesterday in Kaduna at the quarterly meeting of northern traditional leaders committee on primary health care delivery, said the agency had established national emergency routine immunisation to ensure wide coverage of immunisation against polio virus.

Also, Shuaib, in an interview with journalists, however, said Nigeria had recorded tremendous improvement in health indices, adding that due to the achievement, the World Health Organisation (WHO) may declare Nigeria a polio-free country in the next 12 months.

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