Nigeria Records 72 Deaths from Lassa Fever, Says NCDC

Nigeria Records 72 Deaths from Lassa Fever, Says NCDC

*Army loses three medical personnel to outbreak in KadunaKingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has  said that Lassa Fever has claimed the lives of 72  persons in the country.
According to its latest report on Lassa Fever situation in Nigeria, as of 11th February 2024, Nigeria has recorded a total of 411 confirmed cases and 72 deaths from Lassa fever.

The Centre said that confirmed cases were reported in 21 states and 78 local government areas across the country.
It said that Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi accounted for 65 percent of all the confirmed cases, with Ondo reporting 24 percent, Edo 23 percent, and Bauchi 18 percent. The remaining 35 percent of cases were reported in 17 other states.
The NCDC said that the most affected age group by Lassa fever is 21-30 years, and two new health workers were affected during the reporting week.
In response to the Lassa fever outbreak, the agency noted that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated.

The system according to NCDC aims to coordinate response efforts at all levels through the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army Headquarters,  yesterday, confirmed the death of three medical personnel following the outbreak of lassa fever at the Accident and Emergency unit of the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
 A statement by the Spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that a suspected index patient was managed but subsequently died two weeks ago in the hospital.

“Sadly, three medical staff of the hospital that had direct contact with the suspected index case have also died within the past 48 hours,” it said.
The statement said in response to the suspected outbreak, “directives have been passed that Prevention Control (IPC)  measures in and around all military health care facilities in Kaduna be stepped up as part of measures to curtail further spread and loss of lives.
“In this wise, all medical staff of the hospital, their family members and other patients on the contact tracing list have commenced appropriate management and so far nothing of concern has been observed.”

It noted that, “the entire hospital facility has been disinfected, while immediate closure and evacuation of the Accident and Emergency ward of the 44 NARHK has been ordered to allow for thorough fumigation, decontamination and emplacement of other measures of Infection Prevention Control (IPC).
“As a responsive and responsible organisation, the Nigerian Army has also escalated the development to other relevant national and state agencies.
“As of the time of this statement, samples have been taken from suspected contacts and the deceased and sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratory in Kano for analysis.

“Similarly, the Kaduna State Epidemiologists have been invited to help in unraveling the unfolding development.”
The statement noted that the Nigerian Army, as part of its civil-military relations welfare scheme, offered medical services to civilians in its host communities.
“Thus, about 500 civilians receive medical attention weekly at 44NARHK. This unfortunate development is only a setback in our efforts to give back to the society and will not stop the Nigerian Army from continuing this moral obligation to the host communities.

“As of now, all Nigerian Army medical facilities in Kaduna and environs have been put at alert on the need to emplace necessary IPC measures and closely monitor patients, staff and family members,” it said.
The Army, therefore, urged the general public not to panic as adequate measures had been put in place to contain the suspected outbreak.

It assured the people that its collaboration with all relevant stakeholders remained open, transparent and in tandem with international best practice.

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