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614 cases of measles, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever recorded in a week

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A TOTAL of 614 cases of measles, Lassa fever and yellow fever has been recorded in a week across states of the federation, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) weekly epidemiological report.

Published on Wednesday for week 44 of the year which fell between October 28 and November 3, the report stated that four people died as a result of the three preventable and curable diseases.

Measles accounted for the highest number of cases with 403 Nigerians suspected to have contacted the disease in the week. This figure is higher than the one from week 39 to 43. 

There has been a steady rise in the case of measles since week 39. The weekly reports revealed that every week, more persons come down with the vaccine-preventable disease. 

Going through the previous report, in week 39, there were 260 reported cases of measles. In week 40, it rose to 270 and it was 272 cases in week 41. In both weeks 42 and 43, the recorded cases of measles were 378 and 384 respectively. And in the latest week, the persons that came down with measles were 403.

The occurrence of the disease cut across 126 local government areas in 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory, according to the report.

Infographics credit: Rebecca Akinremi

It also revealed that two people died from measles during the week which was against previous reports where no death was recorded since week 38.

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The condition of measles became worsen in 2019 as the number of cases so far in the year was three times more than the whole of 2018 figure. NCDC had recorded 15,518 cases in 2018, while as of November this year, 57,255 cases have been recorded.

The number of deaths due to measles so far was 277 against 123 deaths of 2018.

On November 16, the Federal government launched a campaign targetting the vaccination of 28 million Nigerian children against measles and meningitis in 19 Northern states. The government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance founded by Bill and Melinda Gates kicked off the immunization exercise on Saturday in Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Kano, Katsina, Plateau, Taraba, Niger and Adamawa states.

Other states are Gombe Jigawa, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Kwara, Kaduna, Sokoto and the Federal Capital Territory.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the best protection against the disease is through receiving two doses of the measles vaccine. The newly published National Demographic and Health Survey stated that 14.8 per cent of Nigerian children received the second dose of the measles vaccine in 2018, 54 per cent had only the first dose.

 Apart from measles, more than a hundred people were also affected by Yellow Fever with one death in week 44.

There were 110 suspected cases of Yellow Fever reported from 56 LGAs in 22 states and FCT. So far, 40 people have died as a result of yellow fever in 2019. This represented many deaths in the year against only one death recorded in 2018.

And Lassa Fever also affected 101 people across 40 LGAs in 11 states and FCT. 

Edo State has the highest cases of Lassa Fever with 54 persons; followed by Ondo State with 21 reported cases.

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