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Dr Ortese Yanmar, Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services said on Tuesday that the state has recorded 31 confirmed cases of measles in five Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The Commissioner who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the health security concerns of the state, noted however that so far there were about 256 suspected cases of measles in Benue.

Yanmar also said that there has been a rise in the cases of deaths occasioned by Lassa Fever. While he stated that from figures available to the ministry, presently there were about 725 suspected cases, 55 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.

He lamented that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of Lassa Fever in the state has risen to 23.6%, stressing that it has become a source of concern as it has hit nine LGAs in Benue.

Yanmar said,”It is important at this point to add that, the State is also currently experiencing outbreaks of Measles, where we have 256 suspected cases and 31 confirmed cases across 5 Local Government Areas of Buruku Gwer west, Logo, Ushongo and Vandeikya.”

“The State team has responded to the situation and our surveillance officers are following the events very closely.”

“I wish to use this medium to invite partners who have technical competencies in the containment of outbreaks in the above named diseases to work with us to enhance the Health security of the State, and by extension, Nigeria and the global community.”

He further explained that, “According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria is the country with the highest number of reported Lassa Fever cases and deaths globally.”

“In the past few years, there have been several large outbreaks of Lassa Fever in Nigeria, with thousands of cases reported.”

“The State’s Situation Report of the current outbreak (of Lassa Fever) from 1% November, 2023 to 2nd March, 2024, (Epidemiology week 9), shows a total of 725 suspected cases, 55 confirmed cases with 13 deaths, 2 probable cases and a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 23.6%.”

“The nine LGAs affected are Makurdi, Guma, Gwer West, Gwer East, Okpokwu, Obi, Ogbadibo, Otukpo, and Ukum.”

“These figures are not just worrisome but it calls for collective action to stop the spread of the disease in the State.”

“In epidemiological week 6, we also had the unfortunate incidence of detecting 4 infected persons in one of the IDP camps in the State.”

“This population are highly vulnerable due to the overcrowding in congregate setting with poor hygiene. Fortunately for the State, the disease outbreak response team intervened promptly.”

“The confirmed cases were treated and their contacts were monitored for symptoms. They were asymptomatic and exited follow-up on 1% March, 2024.”

“It is also pertinent to note that this is the highest number of positive cases in the last 4 years. This has put pressure on the Treatment Centre in Benue State University Treatment Center as the cases passing through it have doubled.”

“Cumulatively, from onset of the outbreak, BSUTH (Benue State University Teaching Hospital), Treatment Centre has managed 90 cases (both suspected and confirmed), the health commissioner observed.”



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