Lassa fever spreads to nine states with 18 people dead



The Lassa fever virus appears to have become an annual plague in Nigeria as barely 20 days into the new year, 18 Nigerians have lost their lives to the epidemic. The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) on Wednesday said 82 cases of Lassa fever, including 14 deaths, have been confirmed from seven states.
The states affected include: Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi and Ogun. Fresh cases were confirmed in Kano and Delta yesterday with four deaths recorded.

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease control has so far reported 255 suspected cases in 2020, a staggering figure in just two weeks.
According to a summary of the current weekly indicators, the number of new confirmed cases rose from 18 in Week 1, 2020 to 64 in Week 2, out of which 12 deaths were recorded from 158 suspected cases.
The NCDC stated: “The number of deaths has increased. The overall case fatality rate (CFR) for 2020 is 17.1 per cent, which is lower than the CFR for the same period during 2019 (28.7 per cent).

“In total for 2020, eight states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 13 LGAs; 89 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38 per cent), Ondo (38 per cent) and Ebonyi (11 per cent) states.
“The predominant age-group affected is 11-40 years (Range: >11 to 60 years, Median Age: 33 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1.

“The number of suspected cases has increased but is lower than the numbers reported in 2019. One Health Care Worker infection was identified in the reporting week 02.”
The virus is haemmorrhagic and affects the kidney but most times shows very little symptoms.