NCDC Confirms 137 New cases of Lassa Fever in One Week

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Lassa Fever
Photo credit – BBC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC has confirmed that the nation recorded 137 new cases of Lassa fever within one week, from 16 January – 22 January 2023, through its latest epidemiological report.

According to the report, the number of new confirmed cases increased from 77 in week 2 2023 to 137 cases. These were reported from Ondo (51), Edo (48), Taraba (8), Benue (5), Nasarawa (5), Bauchi (5), Ebonyi (3), Plateau (3), Kogi (3), Anambra (2), Delta (1), FCT (1), Adamawa (1), and Enugu (1) States.

Statistically, the NCDC’s report showed that Seventy-nine (79%) of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo and Bauchi) while 21% were reported from 13 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases. Of the 79% of confirmed cases, Ondo reported 37%, Edo 36%, and Bauchi 5%.

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NCDC Confirms Additional 13 New Cases of Lassa Fever

The predominant age group affected according to the agency’s report is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 79 years, Median Age: 30 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9.

The statement also revealed that number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022, adding that two new healthcare workers were affected in the reporting week 3.

Cumulatively from week 1 to week 3, 2023, 37 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 15.1% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (18.8%)

In total for 2023, 16 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 50 Local Government Areas.

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Pharmanewsonline reports that 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.

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

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