The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has officially confirmed 476 cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Lassa fever), resulting in 84 deaths across 23 states in the country.

Viral hemorrhagic fevers
Viral hemorrhagic fevers

Additionally, the NCDC is actively responding to other disease outbreaks, including meningitis (with 507 cases and 63 deaths in 19 states), measles (with 915 suspected cases, 516 confirmed cases, and two deaths in 29 states), diphtheria (reporting 16,248 cases and 646 deaths in 22 states), and cholera.

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Dr. Jide Ojo, the Director-General of NCDC, provided this information during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday. As of February 18, 2024 (end of week 7), a total of 2,621 suspected cases of Lassa fever have been reported across 84 local government areas in 23 states, with 476 cases confirmed and 84 deaths, resulting in a case fatality rate of 18.6 percent.

Dr. Ojo highlighted that individuals most at risk for Lassa fever are those of all age groups who come into contact with the urine, feces, saliva, or blood of infected rats.

He urged the public to maintain a clean environment, block all holes in their houses to prevent the entry of rats, cover dust or waste bins, dispose of refuse properly, and establish dump sites away from homes to reduce the chances of rodents entering.

Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of safely storing food items in tightly sealed or well-covered containers, avoiding drying foodstuff outside on the ground or roadside and eliminating rats in homes and communities using appropriate and safe methods, such as rat traps.

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