Cholera, Lassa Fever Kill 202 In Six Months, Says NCDC

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No fewer than 202 lives were lost to Lassa fever and cholera in the past six months, according to data released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NCDC stated that the country recorded 6,704 suspected Lassa fever cases and 162 deaths across 125 local government areas in 28 states, while the death toll from the latest cholera outbreak had risen to about 40, based on figures shared by the agency.

The NCDC disclosed the figures in its Lassa fever situation report posted on its website on Friday. Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

The NCDC revealed that the case fatality rate (17.8 per cent) is higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023 (17.1 per cent).

“In 2024, 28 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 local government areas. Sixty five per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 35 per cent were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases. Of the 65 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 25 per cent, Edo 22 per cent, and Bauchi 18 per cent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1,” it added.

However, the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed that the centre did not have enough vaccines. He added that Nigeria had placed an order for more cholera vaccines from donor agencies, even though the date of delivery was still unknown.

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The NCDC boss stressed the need for the country to embrace the use of vaccines and other preventive measures to curb the spread of the acute diarrhoeal infection.

On its part, the Nigerian Medical Association said it was working with national health authorities and international organisations to contain the outbreak.

The NMA, in a post on its X handle, noted that it had deployed rapid response teams across affected states, implementing extensive monitoring and containment strategies, and disseminating accurate information about cholera prevention, symptoms, transmission, precautions, and treatment options.

“In the light of these efforts, the NMA urges individuals, families, and communities to remain calm and adhere to public health measures, including practising good hygiene, ensuring access to safe drinking water, and taking individuals with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting to the nearest hospital for prompt attention,” the association said.

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