WHO incident manager meets Edo governor

At least 35 people across five states have been confirmed to have Lassa fever and seven have died across three states in the last one week, says the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The new cases bring to 353 the number of cases confirmed for Lassa since the start of January. In the same period, 110 people have been killed.

A total 1121 cases have been suspected for Lassa but 723 have tested negative, eight are listed as “probable” cases and 37 still await laboratory results.

At least 85% of all the cases confirmed for Lassa are from Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi—the three most-affected states.

Two health workers were confirmed positive this week in Ebonyi, bringing the number of health workers affected to 16 in six states.

Some 35 people remain hospitalized at Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo, 18 at Federal Medical Centre, Owo and 16 at Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

Officials have identified 3126 contacts in 18 states where Lassa fever is active. Among 1586 are still being watched, 1485 of them have completed 21 days of being under watch for symptoms. Twenty-one among 47 contacts who showed symptoms tested positive from Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi.

Germany-based Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine is supporting reference laboratories in Edo, Abuja and Lagos with testing reagents, NCDC said in a situation report.

It said it had distributed personnel protective equipment, Ribavirin injections and tablets, beds, body bags and hand sanitisers to centres where patients are hospitalized for treatement.

It has deployed team to Kebbi, Kwara, Niger and Oyo, all of which border Benin Republic to enhance crossborder surveillance.