By Abujah Racheal
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to work closely with state governments where cases of Lassa Fever are reported to effectively manage confirmed cases across the country.
The Director General of the centre, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja while giving an update on the outbreak of the disease in the country.
He said “since the beginning of the year 2020, there has been a total of 365 confirmed cases and 47 deaths reported from 23 states as at Feb. 2, 2020.
“The good news is that in spite of the increase in the number of confirmed cases announced on Jan. 26, 2020, which stood at 258 with 41 deaths from 19 states, the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for 2020 is lower at 12.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2019 which was 17.7 per cent.
“Our goal is to have a single digit CFR in Nigeria and we are on the right track.”
According to Ihekweazu, NCDC situation report of all confirmed cases, which is 76 per cent are from Edo (35 per cent), Ondo (35 per cent) and Ebonyi (six per cent).
He said NCDC would continue to support affected states through deployment of inter-disciplinary Rapid Response Teams and medical supplies, including Ribavirin tablet for treatment of Lassa fever patients.
The NCDC boss urged Nigerians to keep their environments clean and store food in tight containers to avoid contact with rats.
He, however, called on health workers to maintain high index of suspicion for the disease.
Ihekweazu stated that Lassa fever could be treated if reported early.
He added that “if a patient does not respond to treatment for malaria or other febrile illnesses after 48 hours, it is important to immediately test for Lassa fever.”