The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that there has been a total of 18,545 confirmed measles cases across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
NCDC said the country has reported nothing less than 234 deaths from the infectious disease as of week 39 in the year.
The centre disclosed this in a statement made available to our correspondent by its Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa. According to Adetifa, there are 40 local government areas with an active outbreak of the disease.
“There have been 18,545 confirmed cases, and 234 deaths as of week 39 in 36 states and FCT, and there are 40 LGAs with an active outbreak,” he said.
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Measles is an acute, highly infectious disease that causes fever, a red rash, cough and red eyes.
Measles is spread via coughing and sneezing, contact with respiratory secretions or aerosols or close personal contact. It remains contagious in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours. The period of greatest infectiousness (which signifies virus shedding) occurs four days before the onset of the rash and four days after the rash has appeared.
In a recent development, the NCDC boss said surveillance had been heightened at the points of entry in response to the outbreak of the Sudan strain of the Ebola Virus Disease.
He said, “As you know, there is an outbreak of Ebola in Uganda as the Sudan strain was confirmed in the Mubende district.
“Thankfully, with increased knowledge and capacity about the disease, local and international efforts are being channelled to curb the epidemic. The NCDC is on high alert given the realities of globalisation, and disease such as this is a plane ride away from the country.
“We have the experience of responding to Ebola, diagnostic capacity in National Reference Laboratory, Abuja and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos. However, we do not want to wait for it to land on our shores. Points of Entry surveillance have been heightened and persons travelling from Uganda are being followed up for 21 days to ensure that their health is clear.”