GODWIN ISENYO and ABIODUN NEJO with agency report
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has disclosed that 29 deaths and 195 confirmed cases of Lassa fever have been reported in 11 states.
The Director-General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, explained that the current figures were as of Friday, January 24.
Ihekweazu said out of the confirmed cases, 89 per cent were from Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi states.
The NCDC boss said that the increased number of cases at this time of the year was not unusual due to ecological factors.
He said that in response to the increasing number of Lassa fever cases across the states, the NCDC activated a National Emergency Operations Centre on Friday to coordinate response activities.
Ihekweazu said the EOC includes representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, US Centres for Disease Control, and other partners.
He said the NCDC would continue to support states in strengthening their preparedness and response capacity.
He added that over the last three weeks, NCDC had deployed Rapid Response Teams to support five of the affected states.
According to him, it will ensure prompt case management and other response activities in order to reduce the number of deaths.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents, which can be found in the environment.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government has confirmed a case of Lassa fever at Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, on Saturday said a 36-year-old male patient was receiving treatment at a designated Infectious Disease Control Centre.
The Ekiti State Government has called on residents to always ensure a clean environment to prevent the outbreak of Lassa fever.
The Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, on Saturday admonished the people to always clear the bush in their surroundings, warning them against sun-drying food items on the roadsides where rats could have access to them.
A statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, said Egbeyemi gave the advice while monitoring the January edition of the monthly environmental sanitation.
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