NCDC’s Report Shows Lassa Fever Is Growing In Nigeria
The Lassa Fever situation report for week nine from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), shows that the virus is still gaining ground in Nigeria.
The report which covered the period from January 5 to March 5, 2023, showed that there are 676 verified cases of Lassa Fever scattered across 89 local government areas in 22 states in Nigeria.
According to the report, there have been 109 fatalities so far in 2023 compared to 104 recorded deaths in 2022.
Given the current mortality rate, the public health institution observed that the outbreak’s fatality case-ratio was 16.1%.
According to the NCDC, 72% of cases were recorded in Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, but only 28% of cases were reported in two states with confirmed cases of Lassa fever.
Of the 72% verified cases, Ondo reported 33% of them, Edo reported 29%, and Bauchi reported 10%.
The report read in part, “In week 9, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 59 in week 8 2023 to 40 cases. These were reported from Bauchi, Ondo, Taraba, Edo, and Ebonyi States.
“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 9, 2023, 109 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 16.1 percent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (18.6 percent).
“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 10.8.
“The number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022.
“One new Healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week nine.”
According to the World Health Organization, the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses, is what causes Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic illness.
Contact with food or household objects that have been tainted by the feces or urine of infected Mastomys rats is the most typical way for people to become infected with the Lassa virus. The disease is endemic and affects the rodent population in various areas of West Africa.
According to reports, lassa fever is endemic in eight countries in West Africa: Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria.
Reports state that a lack of awareness, a sanitary environment, and tardy case presentations are what is driving the epidemic in Nigeria.