[TR New] FG confirms five Lassa fever cases in four states

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Five fresh cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed in Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau and Rivers states, the Federal Government has said.

The government said that two cases were reported from Plateau State, one from Rivers, and one each from Bauchi and Gombe states.

A statement issued on Friday by the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, a parastatal of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the case reported from Gombe died on August 22 2016, while “all other cases are alive.”

He said, “Five confirmed cases of Lassa Fever were reported from four states of Nigeria within the week August 24 to September 2 (Friday). Two cases were reported from Plateau State, one from Rivers, and one each from Bauchi and Gombe. The case reported from Gombe died on 22nd August 2016, all other patients are alive.

“The public health response commenced immediately in all the affected states under the leadership of the respective state ministries of health. Resources were immediately mobilised from the NCDC and its partner, the Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, to support the investigation and management of cases in the affected states.

“We commend the early detection and reporting of the most recent cases, as it significantly improves the likelihood of survival for the cases and also reduces the risk of further transmission. We also urge all states to report cases immediately for Lassa fever while improving on the timeliness of their reporting generally.”

Ihekweazu said as a result of increasing number of cases, the NCDC was therefore issuing an advisory to all states, reminding them of the steps they have to take to prepare and respond to cases of Lassa fever and other haemorrhagic fevers, as well as the resources that they can access for this.

The NCDC remains committed to supporting the states to prevent the spread of Lassa fever in Nigeria. For further media inquiry on Lassa fever in Nigeria, you can reach NCDC via Facebook Messenger on m.me/NCDCgov. Our website is currently being redesigned to improve our communication opportunities.”

Saturday PUNCH reports that 59 contacts have been identified in Delta and Anambra states and were being monitored for symptoms of Lassa fever.

Ihekweazu had denied that there were three cases of Lassa fever in Anambra State, describing the report as false.

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