Lassa fever killed 72 in six weeks -NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said no fewer than 2,122 suspected cases, 411 confirmed cases, and 72 deaths have been recorded from Lassa fever in Nigeria this year as of February 11, 2024.

The confirmed cases were recorded from 21 states and 78 local government areas in the country.

The NCDC disclosed this in its Lassa fever situation report for Week Six, which was posted on its website on Thursday.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus.

The natural reservoir for the virus is the Mastomys natalensis rodent (commonly known as the multimammate rat or the African rat).

Other rodents can also be carriers of the virus.

The virus spreads through direct contact with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats; contact with objects, household items, and surfaces contaminated with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats; consuming food or water contaminated with the urine, faeces, saliva, or blood of infected rats; the person-to-person transmission can also occur through direct contact with blood, urine, faeces, vomitus, and other body fluids of an infected person.

The report partly read, “In Week 6, the number of new confirmed cases increased from 70 in epi week 5, 2024 to 83 in epi Week 6, 2024. These were reported in Edo, Ondo, Taraba, Benue, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kogi, Plateau, Cross River, Nasarawa, Rivers, and Lagos States.

“Cumulatively from Week 1 to 6, 2024, 72 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 17.5 % which is marginally lower than the CFR for the same period in 2023 (17.6%).

“In total for 2024, 21 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 78 local government areas.

“Sixty-five per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 35 per cent were reported from 17 states with confirmed Lassa
fever cases. Of the 65% confirmed cases, Ondo reported 24%, Edo 23%, and Bauchi 18%.”

The centre noted that the predominant age group affected is 21-30 years, and the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1.

It added that the number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period
in 2023, and two new Healthcare workers were affected in the reporting week.

It, however, said the National Lassa fever multi-partner and the multi-sectoral Incident Management System have been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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