NCDC confirms 1,068 Lassa fever cases, 181 deaths

… Ondo, Edo, Bauchi worst hit

CITIZENS COMPASS —The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, October 2, 2023, said it recorded 1,068 Lassa fever cases across 112 Local Government Areas in 28 states.

The NCDC disclosed this in its Lassa Fever situation report for week 37 (September 11 -17, 2023).

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.

Lassa fever remains a major public health challenge as poor environmental sanitation, poor awareness, and late presentation of cases are reported to fuel the epidemic in Nigeria.

The NCDC said the suspected cases are now 7,352 and that the disease has killed no fewer than 181 persons in the country.

With the current death toll, the agency noted that the case-fatality ratio of the outbreak stood at 16.9 per cent.

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,” NCDC  said

So far this year, the disease has infected 49 healthcare workers in Nigeria.

The NCDC noted that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.


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