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Sharp Increase in Lassa Fever Reported in Week 51 of 2023 – NCDC

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has reported a sharp increase in Lassa Fever cases in week 51 of 2023.

The centre, however, reported a lower fatality rate compared to the same period the previous year.

The information was released in NCDC’s official website on Sunday in Abuja.

The centre said that in week 51 of 2023, the number of newly confirmed lassa fever cases increased significantly from10 in week 50, to 26 cases.

“These cases were reported in Bauchi, Ondo, Taraba and Plateau States,” it said.

“Cummulatively, from week 1 to week 51 of 2023, a total of 215 deaths have been reported, resulting in a case fatality rate of 17.

5 per cent.

“This figure is slightly lower than the record for the same period in 2022, which was 17.9 per cent.

“Throughout the year 2023, Lassa fever cases was reported in 28 states across 121 Local Government Areas.

“The majority of confirmed cases, accounting for 77 per cent, were reported in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi States.

“Specifically, Ondo State reported 35 per cent of the confirmed cases, Edo reported 28 per cent and Bauchi reported 14 per cent,” it stated.

The agency said that the age group most affected by Lassa fever was 21-30 years, with cases ranging from 1 to 93 years.

“It said that the median age of confirmed cases was 32 years.

The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1 and 0.9,” it stated.

The centre said that the number of suspected cases has increased compared to the same period in 2022.

It said that additionally, two healthcare workers were affected in week 51.

To address the situation, multi-sectoral Public Health Emergency Operation Centres (PHEOC) have been activated at the national level and in the affected states, it said.

It said that challenges faced in combating Lassa fever included the late presentation of cases, leading to an increase in the case fatality rate.

“Poor health-seeking behaviour is also observed due to the high cost of treatment and clinical management of the disease.

“Poor environmental sanitation conditions and low awareness are also observed in high-burden communities,” it stated.

It said that the report was based on case-based data retrieved from the National Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre.

The statement identified symptoms of the disease to include fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia and chest pain.

Other symptoms include unexplained bleeding/haemorrhage, it said. (NAN)

Health

400 Benefit from Free TB Screening in Bauchi

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No fewer than 400 residents of Bauchi have benefitted from free Tuberclosis screening exercise initiated by a group, Langa Women Development Association.

The Programme Manager of the group, Mr Ogala Ogala, said this at the inauguration of the two-day exercise on Saturday in Bauchi.

He said the exercise was designed to promote public health and curb spread of Tuberculosis.

He said exercise was being implemented in collaboration between the organisation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Malaria ( BACATMA).

“We targeted the ECWA Women Conference for the Bauchi South, to conduct free screening exercise.

“The aim is to promote public health and awareness creation among the people to encourage healthy living.

“This is not just for women alone but whoever is at the designated venue can also access the free screening,” he said.

Also, Dr Simon Mafwalal, its Senior Project Manager, said the group with the support of the U.S. agency was providing TB screening services in the state.

“We can have all the equipment used for screening TB, whoever is diagnosed with the disease or has symptoms will be given the required treatment and counseling.” he said.

Mafwalal said that the medical van has the capacity to screen 250 clients daily, adding that a reasonable number of people would be screened before the end of the exercise. (NAN)

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Health

Meningitis Outbreak Kills 20 Students Of FGGC Potiskum, Other Schools In Yobe

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Twenty students have died in three boarding girls’ secondary schools and the Federal Government Girls’ College in Potiskum and Fika local government areas of Yobe State from a suspected outbreak of meningitis. 

The Yobe State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Mohammed Sani-Idris told journalists that “20 students have been confirmed dead in the last few weeks from the suspected meningitis outbreak across some boarding secondary schools in Potiskum and Fika local government areas.

Many have been hospitalized but now discharged”.

He explained that after the outbreak at the secondary schools, “I as Commissioner, my Permanent secretary and the Executive Secretary of the State’s Science Technical Board as well as the Chairman of the Teaching Service Board have relocated to Potiskum temporarily to ensure the disease does not escalate”.

Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni represented by his Deputy Idi Barde-Gubana visited the affected schools of Fika Government Secondary School, Government Science Technical College, and Federal Government Girls’ Technical College all in Potiskum and well as Government Girls’ Science Technical College Gadaka in Fika Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Buni said: “As part of the effort geared towards containing and effectively tackling the outbreak, the government has already provided the emergency treatment drugs as well as deployment of a rapid response team to all the affected areas”.

While briefing the representative of the Governor at Specialist Hospital Potiskum, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Isa Bukar said a total number of 214 cases were recorded and three are still in the intensive care unit of the hospital responding to treatment.

A similar outbreak had killed many residents of Degubi community in Fika Local Government Area of the state in April 2023.

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Cross River Warns Residents about Suspected Outbreak of Haemorrhagic Fever

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Cross River warned about a possible outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever in old Ndebeji, in Akamkpa Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Viral haemorrhagic fever is any group of infectious diseases that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot.

They are spread by contact with infected animals, people or insects.

Examples include Ebola and yellow fever.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Ayuk, said in Calabar that a suspected index case was currently being investigated in complete isolation at the Ndebeji healthcare centre.

He said he had directed the state’s epidemiologist and her team to work with the local government team to collect samples from suspected cases for diagnosis

“They will provide palliative case management and institutionalise adequate infection prevention and control in the facility.

“They will also work with community leaders to identify and restrict movements of known contacts till the sample results of the suspected index client are out and entrench risk communication in the community.

“I must note that cases are most likely to present early with fever, rash, body weakness, bleeding from body openings or may even be asymptomatic,’’ he said.

Dr Ayuk appealed to residents to avoid rodents and insect bites, adding that they should put on personal protective wears if they must come close to livestock, other animals and zoos. (NAN)

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