The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 13 additional new cases of Lassa Fever in seven days from five states – Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Ebonyi and Imo.
The NCDC in its epidemiological report, yesterday, said since the beginning of 2022, 70 per cent of infections had come from three states: Ondo (31 per cent), Edo (26 per cent) and Bauchi (13 per cent).
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus. People usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats – present in several West African countries where the disease is endemic. The virus could also be spread through infected bodily fluids.
The public health agency said the country had recorded 165 deaths in 17 states.
“In week 31 (August 1 to 7), the number of new confirmed cases increased from 10 in week 30, 2022 to 13 cases. These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Ebonyi and Imo states.
“Cumulatively from week one to week 31, 2022, 165 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (23.1 per cent).
“In total for 2022, 25 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 100 Local Government Areas. Of all confirmed cases, 70 per cent are from Ondo (31 per cent), Edo (26 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent).”
The NCDC stated that the predominant age group affected were 21-30 years (Range. zero to 90 years, Median Age: 30 years. It said the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases was 1:0.8.
“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new healthcare worker affected in the reporting week 31,” it said.
The NCDC, however, said the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) had continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.
The number of suspected cases had increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.
As many as 500,000 people are infected each year in West Africa. Lassa fever may also induce serious long-lasting effects in survivors.