The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reported 1,068 cases of Lassa fever in 112 local government areas across 28 states in the federation.
This information was published on the NCDC’s official website in the Lassa Fever Situation Report for Week 37 (Sep. 11 – 17, 2023). The report also revealed that 75 percent of the cases were identified in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi States.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, primarily found in West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or feces of infected rodents, particularly the multimammate rat. According to the NCDC, there are currently 7,352 individuals with suspected cases, and the infection has led to the unfortunate loss of at least 181 lives in the country. The case-fatality ratio for this infection is 16.9 percent.
“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 37, 2023, 181 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 16.9 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1 per cent).
“In total for 2023, 28 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 local government areas.
“Seventy-five per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 25 per cent were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.
“Of the 75 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 35 per cent, Edo 29 per cent, and Bauchi 11 per cent.
“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 93 years, Median Age: 32 years).
“The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022,” it said.
In 2023, 49 healthcare workers in the country were unfortunately infected with Lassa fever. The agency announced that the National Lassa Fever Multi-partner, Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre has been mobilized to oversee response efforts at various levels.
Additionally, the NCDC emphasized that preventing Lassa fever entails steering clear of rodents and their excrements, maintaining proper personal hygiene, and taking precautions when tending to infected individuals. The NCDC also stressed the importance of early diagnosis and timely medical treatment in effectively managing the disease and averting complications.
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