Lassa fever: Nigeria records 171 deaths, 975 infections

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says the cumulative case of Lassa fever in the country since the beginning of the year is 975, with 177 deaths from 26 states, with a case-fatality ratio of 18.2 per cent.

The NCDC said, via its website on Thursday, that of all confirmed cases in the country, 71 per cent was from Ondo (33 per cent), Edo (25 per cent), and Bauchi (13 per cent) states.

The Public Health Institute said the predominant age group affected in the country were 21 to 30 years, with the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases being 1:0.8.

According to it, the number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting Week 44.

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The report includes 17 new cases between October 31 and November 6, 2022.

The latest epidemiological report revealed that the recent cases were from five states: Ondo (nine), Edo (five), Kogi (one), Benue (one), and Oyo (one).

The agency said the national Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group, continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

Health minister Osagie Ehanire said, “It seems to have a particular pick in Edo, Ondo Ebonyi, and Bauchi states, and we are trying to find out why.”

Mr Ehanire said the country had learnt a lot in the management of Lassa fever, noting that it had set up an intensive care unit in the four states.

He added, “We have a lot of good stocks of the medicine for the treatment of Lassa fever, like Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, which has been used with success. This is what is used, and it is in good stuck.”