NCDC Reports 832 Confirmed Lassa Fever Cases, 152 Deaths Over 4-Month Period

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Lassa Fever Rats.
Lassa Fever Rats.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has recorded 5,669 suspected cases of Lassa fever, leading to 152 deaths, resulting in a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 18.3 per cent over four months.

According to the Lassa fever situation report published on the NCDC’s official website, among the suspected cases, 832 were confirmed across 27 states and 126 local government areas from January to April 14, 2024.

Lassa fever, caused by the Lassa virus, is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness primarily transmitted through contact with infected multimammate mice rats’ urine or faeces, endemic in parts of West Africa. The disease is also prevalent in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria.

The report emphasised the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, with an overall case-fatality rate of one per cent and approximately 15 per cent for severe cases. It highlighted an increase in new confirmed cases in 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, with 152 deaths reported so far.

Ondo, Edo and Bauchi states accounted for 65 per cent of confirmed cases, with the predominant age group affected is 31 to 40 and a male-to-female ratio of 1:1 among confirmed cases. The report also noted 32 infections among healthcare workers.

The national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response efforts at all levels through the emergency operations centre. Prevention measures include avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practising good personal hygiene and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals.

Racheal Abujah
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