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NCDC confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Kaduna



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The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr. Jide Idris, has confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever in Kaduna State.

Idris, who addressed journalists on Friday in Abuja, said NCDC was closely monitoring the situation and working with state health authorities to check the spread of the disease.

He said: “The NCDC was notified yesterday (Thursday) by the Kaduna State Ministry of Health of the report of deaths from suspected viral hemorrhagic fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna.

“Following this notification, the centre has been working with both institutions to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the suspected cases, as well as ramp up response activities.

“Four of the six blood samples from suspected cases sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital in Kano have been confirmed for Lassa fever. Furthermore, 25 close contacts of all these cases are now under follow-up and placed on prophylactic medicine.

“The state’s Ministry of Health has also activated the Incident Management System with all the response pillars including intensified risk communication and community engagement for the prevention and control of Lassa fever in the affected communities.”

The DG said the agency has dispatched rapid response teams to the affected areas in Kaduna State to conduct epidemiological investigations and implement necessary control measures.

READ ALSO: Lassa fever: Nigeria confirms 200 deaths, 1,170 cases in 28 states

He stressed the need for early detection, prompt treatment, and community engagement in curbing the spread of the disease.

“Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, which is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

“The disease is endemic in Nigeria, with sporadic outbreaks occurring primarily during the dry season,” Idris added.

He urged healthcare workers and the public to maintain strict hygiene practices, including proper food storage and disposal of waste to reduce the risk of Lassa fever transmission.

He also advised individuals experiencing symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, and muscle aches to seek medical attention immediately as early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve outcomes.

Nigeria has recorded 4,540 Lassa fever cases and 875 fatalities as of December 2023.

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