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Lassa Fever on the Prowl as Nigeria Loses another 151 in 4 months



Lassa Fever on the Prowl as Nigeria Loses another 151 in 4 months

The cases of Lassa Fever in Nigeria have continued to soar and currently at an alarming rate as it continues to claim more lives.

In the first 17 weeks of this year, Nigeria has recorded 723 cases of the deadly disease with death toll spiking at 151.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the fatality rate currently stands at a scary 19.6%.

Lassa Fever on the Prowl

Business Metrics’ analysis of latest data by the Centre showed an accelerated spread of Lassa Fever cases in the country, putting the total cases from 2019 to the end of April this year at 7,316 cases.

Since the last outbreak of the disease in 2016, the NCDC confirmed there had been an increase in the number of recurring cases.

In 2019, the centre noted that 796 cases were reported, while in 2020, 1,165 cases were confirmed during the height of the pandemic.

The NCDC also confirmed a total of 4,632 suspected cases in 2021.

The centre stated that so far in 2022, 151 people out of 723 cases have lost their lives; the highest deaths reported in four years.

What the NCDC is Saying

“Cumulatively, from week 1 to week 17 in 2022, 151 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 19.6%.

“In total, for 2022, 23 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 95 local government areas. Of all confirmed cases, 68% are from states namely, Ondo (28 %), Edo (25%) and Bauchi (15%).

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (range:1 to 80 years, median age: 30 years). The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”

Also, NCDC noted that while 51 health workers have been affected, 723 persons have been hospitalised.

It added, “The Federal Ministry of Environment is also implementing a Lassa fever environmental response campaign in high burden states.

“Lassa fever presents initially like any other febrile illness such as malaria. Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body areas.

“The time between infection and appearance of symptoms of the disease ranges from three to twenty-one days. Early treatment and diagnosis increase the chances of survival.”

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