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Lassa Fever: Nigeria Records 11 Deaths, 96 Cases In Two Weeks

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File Photo: Lassa Fever

No fewer than 11 people have died of Lassa fever since the beginning of the new year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

The NCDC disclosed this in its latest situation report on the outbreak of the disease in the country, covering January 10 to 16, 2022.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 2, 2022, 11 deaths have been reported with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 11.5% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (17.4%),” it said in the report.

The report suggested that a total of 465 suspected cases of the disease were reported across 27 local government areas of 11 states.

Of the figure, the NCDC only confirmed 96 cases and 74 per cent were recorded in three states of Edo (31 per cent), Bauchi (22 per cent), and Ondo (21 per cent).

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-40 years (Range: 3 to 72 years, Median Age: 30 years),” the report added. “The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1 : 0.8. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.

“National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.”

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

It is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever contracted by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Between January 10 to 16, the NCDC said 244 suspected cases of Lassa fever were logged across 16 local government areas of eight states.

While 48 of the suspected cases were confirmed, six new infected patients lost the fight to the disease. The confirmed cases were reported from Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Benue, Kogi, Oyo, Taraba, and Ebonyi States.

Similarly, the health agency revealed that three new healthcare workers in Edo State contracted the disease last week.

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