Lassa Fever Has Killed 41 In 19 States – Minister of Health, Osagie Confirms

Lassa Fever

Following the strike of the deadly disease ‘Lassa Fever’ in some parts of Nigeria this January, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has made known to the general public in a statement that the over 41 people have died out the 258 Lassa Fever cases from 19 states.

9jatoday understands that the minister reveals these statistics on Tuesday while speaking to newsmen in the capital city of Nigeria, Abuja.

Reacting to the spread of the deadly disease, Mr Osagie noted that it is now everyone’s responsibility to make efforts in putting an end to the spread of the disease. He added that the overall case-fatality rate for 2020 has been just about 15 percent compared to the same in 2019, which was 20 percent.

He said; “Lassa fever is a disease that is indigenous to our country because it occurs every year, particularly in the dry season.

“As of the 28th of January, 2020, 258 confirmed cases and 41 deaths have been reported in 19 states, with a majority of the cases from Ebonyi, Edo and Ondo states. Given the tropical climate in Nigeria and the abundance of the disease vectors, the high risk of infectious diseases like Lassa fever is high.”

“Despite the increase in confirmed cases, the overall case-fatality rate for 2020 has been just about 15 percent compared to the same in 2019, which was 20 percent. A few years ago the case fatality rate was over 30 percent,” he said.

He added that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated a National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate responses to the outbreak.

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“The EOC, which was constituted on January 24, includes representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and other partners.

“While we are gradually moving towards achieving a single-digit fatality rate, we will continue to support response activities like surveillance and contact tracing in affected states through the deployment of rapid response teams for improved case management and outcomes.

“The rapid response teams have so far been deployed to five states – Ebonyi, Enugu, Kano, Borno and Ondo states.

“It is important for health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion and practice universal health precautions to protect themselves from infections by using surgical masks, gloves, laboratory coats and aprons.

“Further information on Lassa fever can be obtained from the following number – 08099555577.”

“Nigeria has a moderate risk factor because we do not have the huge air travel volume that other high risks countries have,” he said.

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