Lassa Fever: 42 Confirmed Dead, 538 Cases Reported in 16 States

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Forty-two lives have been claimed across the country by a fresh outbreak of Lassa fever, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

A total of 538 cases were reported in 16 states in the first 27 days of the year, the NCDC said in an update yesterday.

However, only 213 of the reported cases tested positive, two were classified as probable and 325 negative.

The NCDC put the fatality rate at 19.7%.

The breakdown of the cases, state by state, reveals that 77 new confirmed cases were reported from Edo(24), Ondo(28),Ebonyi(5), Bauchi(3), Plateau(5),Taraba(3), Gombe(1),Kaduna(1), Kwara(1), FCT(1), Benue(2), Rivers(1) Kogi(1) and Enugu(1).

States with new deaths are Edo(4), Ondo(2), Benue(1), Rivers(1) Plateau(2) Taraba(1) and Bauchi(1).

16 states (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa and Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers Kogi and Enugu) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 40 local government areas.

In the report, one new healthcare worker was affected in Enugu State.

A total of four healthcare workers have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in two states – Ondo (2), Ebonyi (1) and Enugu(1) with no death.

102 patients are currently being managed at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment Centre in Edo State (34) ; Federal Medical Centre, Owo,Ondo State (40); Bauchi (5); Plateau(8); Taraba(3); Ebonyi(6); and others(6) States.

NCDC also said a total of 2,070 contacts have been identified in eight states.

Of these 1673(80.8%) are currently being followed up, 361(17.4%) have completed 21 days follow up. 23(1.1%) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 13 (0.6%) have tested positive from three states (Edo -2, Ebonyi-5 and Plateau-6 ).

The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday said it was mobilizing experts to intervene with a view to containing the disease.

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