NCDC Confirms Lassa Fever Outbreak at Nigerian Army Hospital, Kaduna

Dr. Jide Idris, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna, resulting in the deaths of three staff members.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, Idris assured that the NCDC is closely monitoring the situation and collaborating with state health authorities to contain the spread of the disease.
“The NCDC was notified yesterday (Thursday) by the Kaduna State Ministry of Health of the report of deaths from suspected viral hemorrhagic fever at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna,” he said.
“Following this notification, the centre has been working with both institutions to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the suspected cases, as well as ramp up response activities.
“Four of the six blood samples from suspected cases sent to the Bayero University Teaching Hospital in Kano have been confirmed for Lassa fever. Furthermore, 25 close contacts of all these cases are now under follow-up and placed on prophylactic medicine.
“The state’s Ministry of Health has also activated the Incident Management System with all the response pillars including intensified risk communication and community engagement for the prevention and control of Lassa fever in the affected communities.”
Idris stressed the importance of early detection, prompt treatment, and community engagement in combating the disease, urging strict hygiene practices and immediate medical attention for individuals experiencing symptoms.
“Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, which is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
“The disease is endemic in Nigeria, with sporadic outbreaks occurring primarily during the dry season,” Idris added.
Lassa fever, transmitted through contact with contaminated food or household items, is endemic in Nigeria, with periodic outbreaks occurring mainly during the dry season.
As of December 2023, Nigeria has reported 4,540 cases of Lassa fever and 875 fatalities.
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