Lassa fever death toll hits 144 – NCDC

Lassa fever death toll hits 144 - NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed that 144 deaths have been recorded in the recent Lassa Fever outbreak in the country. NCDC’s Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu who served an update on the disease placed the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) at 16.8 percent. As of last week, the number of deaths was 132, meaning 12 people died from the disease within the last week.
Ihekweazu further revealed that the recent CFR is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2019 which was 23.3 percent, thus suggesting the improved level of detection and case management.
In Week 10, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 85 cases in Week Nine in 2020 to 81 cases. Cumulatively between weeks one and 10, 2020, there were 3416 suspected cases, 855 confirmed, 11 probable and 144 deaths compared to the same period in 2019 which had 1752 suspected cases, 472 confirmed, 15 probable and 110 death. In total for 2020, 27 states have so far recorded at least one confirmed case across 119 local government areas. Of all confirmed cases, 74 percent are from Edo (34 percent), Ondo (33 percent) and Ebonyi (seven percent).
Lassa Fever is a hemorrhagic disease transmitted by a vector called a multimammate rat. The virus is transmitted from the excreta or urine of the vector to humans, and from humans to humans. Symptoms of the disease at the early stages are similar to febrile illnesses such as malaria. General symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, anus and other body orifices. It could also present persistent bleeding from sites of intravenous cannulation. Early diagnosis and treatment increases a patient’s chances of survival.

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