Thursday 29th September, 2016
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108 dead from Lassa Fever - FG

108 dead from Lassa Fever - FG

·   Disease spreads to 20 states
·   Zika Virus not serious, says Minister
 
More Nigerians have been confirmed to have died from Las­sa Fever since its outbreak in October last year.
The Federal Government, which gave an update on the dis­ease’s spread and casualty level on Thursday in Abuja, said that 108 Nigerians have now died from it.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who spoke on the development, explained that as at yesterday, Nigeria had record­ed 176 cases of Lassa Fever with 108 deaths, representing 61.4 per­cent fatality rate.
Prof. Adewole added that, “as at today, 20 states are current­ly following up contacts, or have suspected or probable cases with laboratory results pending or lab­oratory confirmed cases.”
However, he declared that the disease outbreak is under control, “as evidenced by the decline in new suspected cases, new labora­tory confirmed cases and newly reported conformed cases.”
To avoid cases arising from complacency, the minister said that he had directed the Nige­ria Centre for Disease Control (NCBC) to work with the Las­sa Fever Eradication Committee and other partners to develop a Lassa Fever Control Strategy.
On the Zika Virus outbreak, the government urged Nigerians not to lose sleep because it is not a serious threat.
At a media briefing in Abuja, the minister said that both adults and children in Nigeria have an­tibodies that can prevent them against the Zika virus.
He said: “Nigerian scien­tists working in western Nigeria in 1954 discovered Zika in the country. Further studies in 1975 to 1979 showed that 40 percent of Nigerian adults and 25 percent of Nigerian children have anti­bodies to the Zika Virus, mean­ing they are protected against the disease.
“It is important, however, to state categorically, that until now, in Africa and Nigeria inclusive, this virus does not cause any se­rious illness and those so far in­fected, individually recover fully with no serious complications,” the minister stated.
He warned that despite the fact that some Nigerians are im­mune to the Zika Virus infection as demonstrated in the previous studies, “it is important and ad­visable that Nigerians should be careful and protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“There is as of now, no known specific treatment for Zika Vi­rus disease. Treatment is there­fore generally supportive and it includes rest, fluids, and use of pain killers and antipyretics.
“In pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika Virus is serum or amniotic fluid; seri­al ultrasounds should be consid­ered to monitor foetal anatomy and growth every three to four weeks. Referral to a maternal-foetal medicine or infectious dis­ease specialist with expertise in pregnancy management is rec­ommended,” he said.

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