NCDC records 6,902 suspected cases of Lassa fever in six months

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday announced that suspected Lassa fever cases in the country have risen to 6,902 within six months.

The cases were recorded across 125 Local Government Areas in 28 states from January to June 23, 2024.

The agency noted that of the 66% confirmed cases, Ondo reported 26%, Edo 22% and Bauchi 18%.

“The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 98  years, Median Age: 32 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1,” it added.

The data also showed that confirmed cases were 920 and the fatality recorded remained at 162 with a case fatality rate of 17.6% since week 20 of the year.

“In week 25, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from seven in epi-week 24, 2024 to two cases. These were reported in Edo State.

“Cumulatively from weeks one to 25, 2024, 162 deaths have been reported with a CFR of 17.6% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2023 (20.0 per cent).

“In total for 2024, 28 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs,” the report partly read.

NCDC further stated that 66% of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 34% were reported from 25 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa particularly in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia,  Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria but may exist in other West  African countries as well.

Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.



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