As of February 11, 2024, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported a total of 2,122 suspected cases, 411 confirmed cases, and 72 deaths from Lassa fever in Nigeria this year,Punch reports.

These confirmed cases were identified across 21 states and 78 local government areas, according to the NCDC’s Lassa fever situation report for Week Six, released on Thursday.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, with the Mastomys natalensis rodent serving as its natural reservoir. The virus can spread through direct contact with infected rats’ bodily fluids or contaminated objects, as well as through person-to-person transmission via bodily fluids.

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The report highlights an increase in new confirmed cases from 70 in Week 5 to 83 in Week 6 of 2024. These cases were reported in various states, including Edo, Ondo, Taraba, Benue, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kogi, Plateau, Cross River, Nasarawa, Rivers, and Lagos.

Regarding fatalities, a total of 72 deaths have been recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 17.5%, slightly lower than the same period in 2023. Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states account for 65% of all confirmed cases, with Ondo reporting 24%, Edo 23%, and Bauchi 18%.

The most affected age group is 21-30 years, with a male-to-female ratio of 1:1 among confirmed cases. There has been an increase in suspected cases compared to the same period in 2023, with two new healthcare workers affected in the reporting week.

The NCDC has activated the National Lassa fever multi-partner and multi-sectoral Incident Management System to coordinate response efforts at all levels through the Emergency Operations Centre.


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