Health

NCDC Confirms Lassa Fever Outbreak at Kaduna Army Hospital, Death Toll Hits 75

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NCDC Confirms Lassa f Outbreak In Kaduna Army Hospital, Death Toll at 75

In a concerning turn of events, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has officially confirmed a Lassa Fever outbreak at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna, resulting in the tragic loss of three staff members. As the death toll climbs to 75, with 355 reported cases, health authorities are working tirelessly to contain the spread of the viral hemorrhagic fever.

The Director General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, addressed the media on Friday in Abuja, detailing the collaborative efforts between the NCDC and state health authorities. The Kaduna State Ministry of Health notified the NCDC of deaths from suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, prompting an immediate response.

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Dr Idris disclosed, “Four of the six blood samples sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital in Kano have been confirmed for Lassa fever.” Additionally, 25 close contacts are under follow-up with prophylactic measures in place. The Incident Management System has been activated in Kaduna, encompassing intensified risk communication and community engagement.

To combat the outbreak, rapid response teams have been deployed to affected areas for epidemiological investigations and implementing crucial control measures. Dr Idris emphasized the importance of early detection, prompt treatment, and community engagement in curbing the spread of the disease.

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Lassa fever, caused by the Lassa virus, is transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated food or household items. Dr Idris underscored the endemic nature of the disease in Nigeria, with sporadic outbreaks during the dry season.

Nigeria has seen a significant rise in Lassa fever cases, reaching 4,540 with 875 fatalities recorded as of December 2023. Dr Idris urged healthcare workers and the public to maintain strict hygiene practices, including proper food storage and waste disposal, to reduce transmission risk. Early diagnosis and treatment remain pivotal for improved outcomes.

As the nation grapples with this health crisis, the NCDC continues to lead efforts in collaboration with state authorities, emphasizing the urgent need for a collective response to mitigate the impact of the Lassa Fever outbreak.

Source: Channels TV

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