Ondo, Edo lead as NCDC announces new Lassa fever cases

A medical worker holds a rat, the source of lassa fever

A medical worker holds a rat, the source of lassa fever

By Abujah Racheal

Ondo and Edo states are leading the country’s Lassa fever cases as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced five additional cases in seven days.

The figures were updated on the NCDC’s official website on Monday.

According to the report, the two states accounted for 57 percent of the disease burden in the country.

Since the beginning of 2022, 25 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 101 Local Government Areas across the country.

NCDC stated that cumulatively from week one to week 33, 2022, 168 deaths have been reported, with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 18.8 per cent.

The public health institute said this was lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (23.3 per cent).

“In week 33 (August 15 to 21), the number of new confirmed cases decreased from nine in week 32, 2022, to five cases. These were reported from Ondo and Edo states.

“Of all confirmed cases, 70 per cent are from Ondo (31 per cent), Edo (26 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent).

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

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“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new healthcare workers were affected in the reporting week 33. ”

The public health agency said to reduce the risk of Lassa fever, Nigerians should ensure proper environmental sanitation.

“This is done by keeping your environment clean at all times and blocking all holes in your house to prevent rats from entering.”

It also advised that Nigerians should cover their dustbins and dispose of refuse properly.

“Communities should set up dump sites very far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes; store foodstuffs like rice, garri, beans, and corn/maize in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids.

“Avoid drying foodstuffs outside on the floor or 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.”

“Practise good personal hygiene by frequent hand washing with soap under running water or using hand sanitisers when appropriate.”

“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.


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