LASSA Fever Spreads to 8 States, Kills 35, Infects 76

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The Federal Government has disclosed that Lassa Fever outbreak has spread to eight states in the country, killed 35 and 76 patients are currently under watch.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who stated this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, in response to the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country said “the World Health Organisation is being notified of the cases confirmed.”

He listed the states as Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo and Oyo states.

He said “The Nigerian government will continue to enhance its surveillance and social health education, information and communication activities to prevent the disease from spreading further in Nigeria and I wish to call for the support and understanding of Nigerians.

“The total number of suspected cases so far reported is 76 with 35 deaths, and a Case Fatality Rate of 46 per cent. Our laboratories have confirmed 14 cases, indicative of a new episode of Lassa fever outbreak.

“Furthermore, it is important to note that Nigeria has the capability to diagnose Lassa Fever and all the cases reported so far were confirmed by our laboratories. However, because the symptoms of Lassa Fever are so varied and non-specific, clinical diagnosis is often difficult, especially early in the course of the disease.

“Family members and healthcare workers are advised to always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons. No travel restrictions will be imposed from and to areas currently affected.

“Healthcare workers seeing a patient suspected to have Lassa Fever should immediately contact the epidemiologist in the State Ministry of Health or call the Federal Ministry of Health using the following numbers: 08093810105,08163215251, 08031571667 and 08135050005.”

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