A Comparative Analysis From 2018—2020.
The 2018 outbreak of lassa fever, recorded a total of 144 deaths in confirmed cases and 17 in probable cases. Case Fatality Rate in confirmed cases is 25.4%. 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 90 Local Government Areas (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia, Adamawa and Enugu). These in 2018 was seen as the highest outbreak of the disease in Nigeria.
Forty-three health care workers have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states –Ebonyi (16), Edo (15), Ondo (8), Kogi (2), Nasarawa (1), Taraba (1) and Abia (1) with ten deaths in Ebonyi (5), Kogi (1), Abia (1), Ondo (2) and Edo (1).
From 1 st January to 24th November 2019, a total of 4681 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states.The twenty-three (23) States (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi, Cross River, Zamfara, Lagos and Abia) have recorded at least one confirmed case across 86 Local Government Areas – Of these, 785 were confirmed positive, 19 probable and 3877 negative (not a case).
The 2019 outbreak, recorded a total of 160 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 20.4%.
A total of seventeen health care workers have been infected since the onset of the outbreak in seven States – Edo (7), Ondo (3), Ebonyi (2), Enugu (1), Rivers (1), Bauchi (1) Benue (1) and Plateau (1) with two deaths in Enugu and Edo States.
As at the 3rd week of January, the number of confirmed cases has increased from 64 cases in week 1, 2020 to 81. On week 4, at least 29 people have already died, including two doctors and a pregnant woman across 15 states hit by Lassa fever. Abia, Bauchi, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Ogun Ondo, Plateau, Rivers and Taraba states have been affected in the most recent scourge. Ondo State has recorded the highest number of casualties with 16 deaths.
In Imo State, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded a total of 5 cases with 2 deaths in 2018, while in 2019, a total of 2 cases was recorded with no death. The above analysis shows that Imo State was not left out from the scourge of the virus both in 2018 and 2019. Though there was a reduction in number of reported cases. So far, there is no recorded case of the virus in Imo State, not withstanding, it is important to note that from previous incidence, Imo State is susceptible to the scourge of lassa fever .
Symptoms of Lassa Fever
The early stages of Lassa fever present initially like other febrile illness such as malaria. Symptoms of the disease generally include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases; unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, anus and other body orifices. It could also present as persistent bleeding from sites of intravenous cannulation.
Nigerians are advised to go to the nearest health facility in case of any of these symptoms and others requiring medical attention.
Please report all suspected cases of Lassa fever to your Local Government Area Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO). They are the first link to response and care for Lassa fever cases in Nigeria.
NCDC Toll-Free Number: 0800-970000-10