Via the Daily Trust: How the recent Lassa fever outbreak has spread. Excerpt:
Since the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the country new cases of infections and deaths have been reported. The disease has also been spreading across states.
Lassa fever is an acute febrile illness which was first detected in Nigeria in 1969 and comes with bleeding and death in severe cases, with an incubation period of 6-21 days.
The virus is carried in multimammate rats (the common soft-furred African rat whose female has a double row of breasts), which normally live in bushes and visit nearby homes for food, which they contaminate.
Eighty percent of Lassa fever cases pass unnoticed with symptoms similar in many common diseases as mild fevers, body aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. But severe cases progress with sore throat, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea and unexplained bleeding from body openings.
Some days ago, the Director of Public health in the Nasarawa State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ibrahim Adamu,said eight people had died since the reported index case in November 2016.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Abuja, Dr. Chikwe Ihekwazu, recently, in an interview, said that Lassa fever outbreak is yet to become an epidemic but that there are fears that the continued deaths of Nigerians as a result of the fever might be pointing in a different direction.
Highlight of weekly report of the endemic diseases shared by head, technical communication NCDC, Lawal Bakare, revealed that Lassa fever is currently active in nine states; Ogun, Bauchi, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Nasarawa and Rivers.
The highlight stated that, since its onset in December. 2016 (Week 49), a total of 196 suspected cases with 40 deaths have been reported.
“Of these, 58 have been either classified as confirmed or probable (confirmed 53, probable 5), with 31 deaths (26 deaths in confirmed and 5 in probable). Case Fatality Rate for confirmed/probable cases is 53.4% and 20.4% for all cases (including probable/confirmed and suspected).”