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Nigeria Records 8 New Cases Of Lassa Fever, 1 Death 

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Lassa Fever

Nigeria has recorded eight more cases of Lassa fever and one death in one week, between September 5 and 11, 2022, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has revealed. 

Revealing the news via its official website, the centre said that the additional cases bring the total number of confirmed cases and deaths in the country to 917 and 171, respectively. 

The Nigerian public health institute disclosed that 25 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 102 local government areas (LGAs).

According to it, a total of 6,660 suspected cases were reported in the country. 

It disclosed that of all confirmed cases, 71 per cent are from Ondo (32 per cent), Edo (26 per cent) and Bauchi (13 per cent) states.

“In week 36 (September 5 to 11, 2022), the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 10 in week 35, 2022 to 8. These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi and Anambra states.

“Cumulatively, from week 1 to week 36, 2022, 171 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6, which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (23.3 per cent).

“The predominant age group affected is 21to 30 years (range: 0 to 90 years, median age: 30 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8.

“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new healthcare worker was affected in week 36.” 

The health agency said the national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral technical working group (TWG) has continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

 “The country’s response activities continue in all areas, particularly in areas of state advocacy, personal protective equipment (IPC) support and laboratory diagnostics,” it added. 

The centre added that, to reduce the risk of Lassa fever, Nigerians should ensure proper environmental sanitation; “that is, keep your environment clean at all times, block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entry”

 It advised Nigerians to cover their dustbins and dispose of refuse properly. 

“Communities should set up dumpsites very far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes. Store foodstuff like rice, garri, beans, corn/maize, etc in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids.

“Avoid drying foodstuffs outside on the floor, roadside where they will be exposed to contamination; Avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings, eliminate rats in homes and communities by setting rat traps and other means, practice good personal hygiene by frequent washing hands with soap under running water or use hand sanitisers when appropriate and visit the nearest health facility if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever as mentioned earlier, and avoid self-medication,” it advised. 

Science Nigeria reports that Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus. People usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats – present in several West African countries where the disease is endemic. The virus can also be spread through infected bodily fluids.

Recall that the Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores. 

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

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