THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says Nigeria has recorded 4,338 suspected cases of Lassa fever infection in 2023.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated persons.
NCDC released its latest Lassa Fever situation report which covered all the suspected cases recorded between March 27 and April 2, on Thursday, April 13.
The report revealed that there has been continuous surge in the spread of Lassa Fever compared to the number of suspected cases recorded in April 2022.
The report also indicated that from week 1 to week 13, 2023, there has been 846 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever infections.
It further stressed that 148 deaths were reported with a case fatality rate of 17.5 per cent which reduced compared to the death rate for the same period in 2022 (19.1 per cent).
The report said, “Cumulatively from week 1 to week 13, 2023, 148 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 17.5% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1%).
“In total for 2023, 25 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 99 Local Government Areas.”
NCDC stated that the number of confirmed cases decreased to 23 cases compare to the 39 cases recorded in week 12.
The report noted that newly suspected cases were reported from Bauchi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Ebonyi, Oyo and Kebbi states.
It noted that 72 per cent of all confirmed Lassa Fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi while 28 per cent were reported from four other states.
Ondo, Edo and Bauchi topped the list of states with the highest number of all Lassa Fever suspected cases with 32 per cent, 29 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
The report also showed that a health worker was affected in Week 13.
Meanwhile on Monday, January 30 The ICIR reported that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) issued a warning that the country is at a high risk of increased Lassa Fever transmission.
NCDC said that it had activated the National Multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre for Lassa Fever (LF-EOC) at Level 2 to coordinate and strengthen ongoing response activities in the country.
According to the NCDC, “The outcome of the risk assessment placed the country at a very high risk of increased Lassa fever transmission due to an unprecedented upward trend in the number of confirmed cases being reported compared to previous years, increased number of states reporting cases in comparison to previous years and increased risk of healthcare worker infections and deaths due to Lassa fever infection.”
In January, The ICIR reported that the Edo State government said it has recorded 13 deaths from 115 cases of Lassa Fever in the state.
The ICIR reported that over 171 persons were killed by Lassa in Nigeria between January to September 2022.
In a report released in January 2023, the NCDC revealed that Nigeria recorded 1,067 suspected cases of Lassa Fever and 189 deaths from the disease in 2022.
The report pointed that the number of reported deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 17.7 per cent was lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (20.0 per cent).
It further stressed that Nigeria recorded more suspected Lassa Fever cases towards the end of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
Moreover, the Centre highlighted that 27 states recorded at least one confirmed case across 112 affected LGAs.
The report however, added that Ondo, Edo and Bauchi took the lion share (72 per cent) of all confirmed Lassa Fever cases in 2022 while 23 per cent were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa Fever cases.
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