The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has on Sunday issued a fresh warning over the increase in Lassa fever cases, totalling 4,632 recorded cases and 102 deaths. The centre warned Nigerians, saying it had sent letters to States on the dangers and symptoms to look out for, also, noting that there are possibilities of the disease presenting malaria-like symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, and cough among others.
NCDC in its latest advisory and situation report said “Lassa fever initially presents like any other febrile disease such as malaria. its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pains, chest pain and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth and other body openings.
“Healthcare workers should maintain a high index suspicion for Lassa fever. Any illness that has not responded to 48 hours use of anti-malaria or antibiotics should raise an index suspicion for Lassa fever
“The time between an infection and appearance of symptoms of the disease is 6 to 21 days. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chances of survival”.
Concerning the deaths, the NCDC stated that Ondo had the highest number of deaths reporting no fewer than 47 deaths, Edo reported 15 deaths, Bauchi 12; Taraba 12; Ebonyi 9; Kaduna 4; Enugu 1 and Nasarawa with two deaths respectively.”
Others include Jigawa 12; Abia 11;Anambra 10;Rivers 10; Imo 9; Adamawa 8;Kwara 4;Yobe four; Oyo four; Cross River four;Bayelsa three; Sokoto three; Ekiti three;Ogun three; Osun three; Katsina two; Kebbi two;Niger one and Zamfara one.
The NCDC stated that, “Confirmed cases are treated at identified treatment centres across the country, Lassa fever alert letter sent to states, response team have been deployed to three states.
The NCDC also added that” The five Lassa fever molecular laboratories in the NCDC network are working full capacity to ensure that all samples are tested and results provided within the shortest turn around time.”