FG worried over new cases of Lassa fever

The Federal Government has expressed concern over the number of new confirmed cases of Lassa fever in some states.

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, expressed the concern in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said that there had been reported cases of Lassa fever in some states, especially as the dry season is setting in.

The minister said that there were 180 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

According to him, this brings to 64,516 the total number of confirmed cases so far recorded in Nigeria from the 697,544 persons tested for COVID-19.

“A total of 60,737 cases have been treated and discharged while there are currently 2617 active cases currently receiving care at home or in a facility.

“We have sadly recorded 1,162 deaths with a case fatality rate of 1.8 per cent.

“We are cautiously impressed that the number of active cases is reducing as more persons are being discharged and the recovery rate is increasing,” Mamora said.

Government, he said, remains committed to sustaining the gains by ensuring quality care for all those who test positive.

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He said officers of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and National Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with some partners were on supportive supervision visits to state treatment facilities.

According to the minister, while government strives to contain the spread of the disease, it is monitoring other diseases threatening the health of Nigerians.

“One of such diseases is Lassa fever which is a viral haemorrhagic disease characterized by one or more of the following symptoms: malaise, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, chest pain and hearing loss.

“So far this year, we have recorded 1131 confirmed cases in 27 states. However, the number of new confirmed cases of Lassa has increased from three in the last weeks to 11 cases this week.

“Although nearly three-quarters of the confirmed cases are in Ondo state, Lassa fever can affect anyone anywhere.

“We, therefore, advise all to be vigilant especially as we approach the season when we usually record increased incidences,” he said.

The minister said that fatality is lower if patients report early for treatment.

The minister also said the government is investigating the unexplained deaths in Delta and Enugu States.

According to him, experts have been dispatched to the states to support the investigation.

“In Delta State, 23 cases have been reported with 17 deaths while in Enugu State, 51 deaths have been reported. In both states, most of the affected cases are males, aged between one and 55 years.

“Most reported cases presented with fever, headache, fatigue and weakness, jaundice, abdominal pain, vomiting (with or without blood), nose bleeding, blood in stools/urine, convulsions and unconsciousness.

“As at the 6th of November, three samples from Delta and one sample from Enugu have been confirmed positive for yellow fever.

“We shall provide further updates at subsequent briefing,” he said. 

(NAN)

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