NCDC confirms 1,038 Lassa fever cases, 183 deaths in 111 LGs

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 1,038 confirmed cases of Lassa fever and 183 deaths across 111 local government areas and 27 states in the country.

The NCDC revealed this in its week 50 Lassa fever situation report on Friday, noting that there were 7,981 suspected cases of the infection as of December 18, up from the previous 7,907, also revealed that Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states bore 75 per cent of the burden of the disease.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

About 80 per cent of people who become infected with the virus show no symptoms, with one in five infections resulting in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys.

According to the NCDC report, “In week 50, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 13 in week 49 2022 to 10 cases. These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, and Kogi States. Cumulatively from week one to week 50 in 2022, 183 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 17.6 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (20.3 per cent).”

“In total for 2022, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 111 local government areas. Of all confirmed cases, 71 per cent are from Ondo (33 per cent), Edo (25 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent) states.”

“The predominant age group affected is 21 to 30 years (range: one to 90 years, median age: 30 years). 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.”

The NCDC noted that no new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 50, while the national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

It further revealed that it had conducted the finalisation and validation of the Lassa fever five-year strategic plan.