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NCDC reports increased Lassa Fever death toll

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported a significant increase in the number of Lassa fever deaths and cases across the country.

In a report, NCDC stated that as of May 2022, no fewer than 155 deaths with 4,820 suspected cases, had been reported across 97 local government areas in 24 states of the federation.

Lassa fever, an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness, is spread by the common African rat also known as the mastomys rat species, is endemic in Nigeria and some other West African countries.

“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.

“Cumulatively, from Week 1 to Week 20 in 2022, 155 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 20 percent, 24 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 97 local government areas.

“Of all the confirmed cases, 68 percent are from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi states. The predominant age group affected is between 21 and 30 years old (range 1 to 90 years, median age – 30 years).” 

To curb the spread, the NCDC said it had begun the “implementation of Lassa Fever Environmental Response Campaign in high burden states by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the distribution of medical response commodities to states and treatment centres.” 

Editing by Tina Oyinsan