More Casualties Recorded
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says at least 155 deaths with 4,820 suspected cases of Lassa fever were reported across 97 local government areas in 24 states of the federation as at May, 2022.
In a situation report released on Thursday, 9th May, 2022, NCDC noted that there has been a significant increase in the number of Lassa fever cases and deaths across the country.
The Lassa fever situation report read in part, “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 per cent. 24 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 97 local government areas.
“Of all the confirmed cases, 68 per cent 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).
“The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”
Lassa fever, an animal-borne, or zoonotic, an acute viral illness spread by the common African rat also known as the mastomys rat species, is endemic in Nigeria and some other West African countries.
Medical experts have stressed the need to ensure a clean environment, proper disposal of waste, rat-proof our homes, keep foodstuffs in covered containers and find ways to eliminate rats from homes.
They also advised against bush meat for now and, if possible, reduce bush burning to reduce the likelihood of being infected with the disease.