Health Alert! NCDC Raises Concerns Over Increased Lassa Fever Cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has on Monday raised concerns over the increasing cases of Lassa fever in the country and urged increased focus on prevention and preparedness.

This was contained in a statement issued by Lawal Bakare, the Technical Assistant Communication, NCDC, in Lagos. According to him, seven states reported at least one case of Lassa Fever in December 2016 and 19 confirmed cases and six deaths had been reported by these seven states so far.

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He also added that in the last quarter of 2016, the centre commenced the implementation of its Lassa Fever preparedness plan ahead of the current dry season.

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Daniel Iya, has confirmed that four persons have lost their lives to Lassa fever outbreak in the state.

Mr. Iya told journalists on Monday in Lafia that 16 suspected cases have been recorded in the state, out of which four were confirmed positive and all of them have died.

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He explained that the index case for the current outbreak was recorded in November 2016 and died a day later, while the three others died between January 13 and January 15.

He added that the last three victims were discovered to be relatives of the index case, adding that 36 others, who had contact with the victims were being followed up.

According to him,  the state government is doing its best with the assistance of the federal government through the provision of protective kits for medical personnel taking care of Lassa fever patients as well as drugs for treatment of the disease.

He also said the state rapid response team had stepped up sensitization updates for health workers to check the spread of the disease.

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He thus urged health workers in the state to always follow standard procedures in taking care of patients in the hospital.

He also urged members of the public to report cases of fever promptly to the hospital as early detection was crucial to survival of patients in the case of Lassa fever.