FRESH OUTBREAK: Lassa Fever Kills Over 3 in Kaduna, NCDC Says No Fewer Than 411 Confirmed Cases, 72 Deaths Have Been Recorded

The Kaduna State Government has confirmed over three deaths from Lassa fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in the state.

Muhammad Shehu, the Chief Press Secretary to Uba Sani, the Governor of Kaduna State, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Shehu further stated that individuals who had contact with the infected patients have been identified and are currently under close observation.

The statement reads, “The attention of the Kaduna State Government has been drawn to a suspected outbreak of “Viral Hemorrhagic Fever” popularly known as “Lassa Fever” at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital located in the capital city of Kaduna.

“Governor Uba Sani on learning of this potentially dangerous outbreak, directed the Kaduna State Ministry of Health on February 20, 2024, to immediately investigate and ascertain the situation at the health facility.

“Consequently, a surveillance team was promptly mobilized to assess the situation, and containment measures were initiated alongside hospital management.

“Currently, four deaths have been recorded, all within the hospital premises, while three other patients with similar symptoms are currently being managed.”

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He mentioned that the hospital is presently inaccessible to the public until complete containment measures are implemented.

Furthermore, Shehu advised Kaduna residents to uphold appropriate food and environmental sanitation practices and promptly report any suspected cases of Lassa fever to the nearest healthcare facility.

In the same vein, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) said no fewer than 2,122 suspected cases, 411 confirmed cases, and 72 deaths have been recorded from Lassa fever in Nigeria this year as of February 11, 2024.

The NCDC disclosed this in its Lassa fever situation report for Week Six, which was posted on its website on Thursday.

Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Lassa fever is endemic in parts of West Africa.

The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected rodents, particularly the multimammate rat.