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NCDC confirms two new Lassa fever deaths, nine cases


Despite efforts by the Federal Government to stop the menace of Lassa fever in the country, the virus has within one week killed two new persons and infected another nine in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states.

Latest figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) published yesterday noted: “In the reporting Week 43 (October 22-28, 2018), nine new confirmed cases were reported from Ondo (four), Edo (four) and Ebonyi (one) states with two new deaths in Edo (one) and Ondo (one) and a probable case from Ebonyi.”

According to the NCDC, from January 1 to October 28, 2018, 2,834 suspected cases have been reported from 22 states and of these, 548 were confirmed positive, 17 probable, and 2,264 negative (not a case).

It noted that since the onset of the 2018 outbreak, there had been 141 deaths in confirmed cases and 17 in probable cases and the case fatality rate in confirmed cases is 25.7 per cent.

According to the report, 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 90 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) and 16 states have exited the active phase of the outbreak while six – Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Kogi, Delta and Imo states remain active.

However, in the reporting Week 43, no new healthcare worker was affected as 41 healthcare workers had been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states.

The NCDC noted that 82 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states.

Besides, it said 12 patients are currently being managed at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) Treatment Centre (eight), Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owo (three) and Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (one).

The Centre said 8,454 contacts had been identified from 22 states and of these, 389 are currently being followed up, 7,946 have completed 21 days follow-up while 15 were lost to follow-up, adding that 109 symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 36 have tested positive from five states – Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Kogi, Bauchi and Adamawa.

Meanwhile, the three most affected states of Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi have dedicated Lassa fever treatment units and ribavirin is available for treatment of confirmed cases.

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