Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has expressed concern over the number of new confirmed cases of the deadly Lassa virus, which has increased from there in the last week to 11 cases this week.
The Minister of States, Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora said this on Thursday in Abuja at the the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He has also warned of possible resurgence of other non-COVID-19 killer diseases, like the Lassa Fever and Ebola especially in the dry season.
He said that 180 new confirmed cases and two deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours bringing to 64,516, the total number of confirmed cases so far recorded in Nigeria from 697,544 persons tested for COVID-19.
“A total of 60,737 cases have been treated and discharged while there are currently 2617 active cases currently receiving care at home or in a facility. We have sadly recorded 1,162 deaths with a case fatality rate of 1.8 percent.
“We are cautiously impressed that the number of active cases is reducing as more persons are being discharged and the recovery rate is increasing,” Mamora said.
Mamora said that the government is committed to sustaining this gain by ensuring quality care for all those who test positive.
The minister said that officers of the Federal Ministry of Health, NCDC and NPHCDA in collaboration with some partners are on supportive supervision visits to the state treatment facilities to ensure quality assurance and strengthen case management capacities in all the facilities.
Mamora said that while government strive to contain the spread of the disease, it continue to keep eyes on other diseases that threaten the health of the people.
“One of such diseases is Lassa fever which is a viral haemorrhagic disease characterized by one or more of the following symptoms: malaise, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, chest pain, hearing loss.
“So far this year, we have recorded 1131 confirmed cases in 27 states. However, the number of new confirmed cases of Lassa, has increased from three in the last week to 11 cases this week,” the minister said.
He said that this year, the nation has recorded 233 deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 20.6 percent, which is slightly lower than the CFR for the same period in 2019 (21.0 percent).
He said, “Althoughh nearly three-quarters of the confirmed cases are in Ondo state, Lassa fever can affect anyone anywhere. We therefore advise all to be vigilant and especially as we approach the season when we usually record increased incidence.”
He said that fatality is lower if the patients report early for treatment.
He therefore advise that any individual presenting with the above symptoms and with either a history of contact with excreta or urine of rodents or history of contact with a probable or confirmed Lassa fever case within a period of 21 days of onset of symptoms or any person with inexplicable bleeding to visit the nearest health facility immediately for testing and treatment.
Mamora also said that the government is investigating the incidence of unexplained deaths in Delta and Enugu States.
According to him, government’s team of experts have been dispatched to the states to support the state investigation.
He said, “In Delta State, 23 cases have been reported with 17 deaths while in Enugu State, 51 deaths have been reported. In both states, most of the affected cases are males aged between one to 55 years.
“Most reported cases presented with fever, headache, fatigue, and weakness, jaundice, abdominal pain, vomiting (with or without blood), nose bleeding, blood in stools/urine, convulsions and unconsciousness.
“As at the 6th of November, three samples from Delta and one sample from Enugu have been confirmed positive for yellow fever. We shall provide further updates at subsequent briefing,” he said.