By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDCP) has confirmed that at least 85 persons were killed by Lassa fever within the first six weeks of this year.
NCDCP in a situation report released on Monday, 20 February, 2023, said in total, 531 suspected cases had been recorded this year.
According to the report, 20 states had so far recorded at least one confirmed case of Lassa fever across 79 local government areas.
“Cumulatively, from week 1 to week 6, 2023, 85 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 16.0% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (16.5%),” it said.
The health agency said all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi State; while 26 percent were reported from six states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.
“Of the 74% confirmed cases, Ondo reported 36%, Edo 31% and Bauchi 7%,” he report said, adding that the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 106 in week five 2023 to 68 cases in week six.
According to the report, these cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Taraba, Ebonyi, Gombe, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau States, just as it said the number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022.
The NCDC, which also confirmed that four new healthcare workers were affected in week six, added that National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) had been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.