NCDC Reports Decline in Lassa fever Cases with Five Fatalities

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported a substantial decline in the number of new confirmed cases of Lassa fever, dropping from 59 in the 8th week of 2023 to 40 cases and five deaths.

The update was revealed in the agency's week 9 epidemiological report.

The NCDC report disclosed  that the confirmed cases in Bauchi, Ondo, Taraba, Edo, and Ebonyi states experienced the decrease, while the fatalities that occurred were from Ondo (2), Bauchi (1) and Ebonyin (2) states.

Statistically, the NCDC report showed that 72 per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states – Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, while 28 per cent were reported from 2 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases. Of the 72 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 33 per cent, Edo 29 per cent and Bauchi 10 per cent.

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The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 93 years, Median Age: 32 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8.

The statement also revealed that number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022, adding that one new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 9.

Cumulatively from week 1 to week 9, 2023, 109 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 16.1 per cent, which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022, which was 18.6 per cent.

In total for 2023, 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 89 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 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

 

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