Lassa fever kills twenty-four people in 23 days ― NCDC

Within the last 23 days of this year, Lassa Fever has killed no fewer than 24 persons, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said on Thursday.

According to the situation report, the disease has killed at least one person per day since the year 2020 began.

The NCDC also said the number of confirmed and suspected cases in the first 23 days of 2020 have been reported to be higher than the whole of 2019.

The Centre’s weekly situation report for week three showed a total of 163 confirmed cases of the disease from 398 suspected cases in 2020 compared to 141 in 2019.

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This week’s indicator which shows that the number of new confirmed cases from six states namely; Ondo, Edo, Delta, Taraba, Plateau, and Bauchi, increased from 64  to 81 cases.

It stated further that nine states recorded at least one confirmed case across 32 Local Government Areas in 2020 with the highest cases totalling 89 per cent from Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states affecting persons within the age group 11-40 years the most.

However, the number of deaths was said to decrease as the overall Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for the year 2020 with 14.7 per cent, as the CFR for the same period during 2019 was 23.4 per cent.

The report states in parts; “In week 03, the number of new confirmed cases has increased from 64 cases in week 1, 2020 to 81.  The number of deaths has decreased.  The overall case fatality rate (CFR) for 2020 is (14.7%) which is lower than the CFR for the same period during 2019 (23.4%).

“In total for 2020, nine states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 32 Local Government Areas. 89% of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38%), Ondo (38%) and Ebonyi (11%) states.

“The number of suspected cases has increased but is lower than the numbers reported in 2019. No Health Care Worker infection was identified in the reporting week 03.”

The report further stated that some of the challenges being faced were; “sustainability of Lassa fever outbreak response by States, poor environmental sanitation conditions observed in high burden communities, poor risk communication activities at the State level leading to late presentation of cases, poor IPC institutionalisation at state level and treatment centres and implementation of rodent control measures in hotspot LGAs.”