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New Lassa infections lowest since outbreak began

Weekly reports of new confirmed infections of Lassa fever have hit the lowest on record since the outbreak started, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says.

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In the last seven days only one case was reported in Edo state, involving a health worker in a private hospital.

NCDC says it is the lowest weekly case count since the outbreak began in January.

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No death was reported.

A total 1865 cases suspected to be Lassa fever have been reported since January 1.

Among them, 416 confirmed positive for Lassa fever after laboratory testing; 1439 were negative.

Nine are still categorized as “probable” and one is awaiting laboratory confirmation.

Some 105 people have died in the outbreak so far—nine of them  are people whose infection was categorized as “probable”, where authorities weren’t certain if what they had was Lassa fever.

At least one report of infection each has come from 21 states, spanning 70 local government areas.

Twelve states have moved away from the “active phase” of the outbreak, but it remains active in nine others.

The health worker infected in Edo is the latest case of Lassa in health workers. At least 37 of them have been infected since the start of the outbreak in Ebonyi, Edo, Ondo, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Abia.

Eight of them died in Ebonyi, Kogi and Abia.

At least eight in 10 of all infections were recorded in three most-affected states of Ebonyi, Ondo and Edo.

Three patients are currently hospitalized at treatment centres in Edo, the lowest number of hospitalizations per week since the start of the outbreak, says the NCDC.

Some 4906 people believed to have possible contact with the infection have been identified. Among them, 4476 have gone through 21 days of followup but health workers lost contact with seven people under surveillance.

At least 28 out of 76 people showing symptoms of Lassa fever under surveillance tested positive in Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Kogi and Bauchi.

Rapid response teams continue work to support Plateau. The emergency operations centre continues to coordinate response across the country but its work has been “de-escalated” as infections continue to decline in the last nine weeks.


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