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Lassa Fever Cases Rise Significantly With 162 Deaths In 2024

THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says the number of confirmed Lassa fever cases has increased significantly, resulting in a cumulative 162 deaths in 2024 as of June 8.

The NCDC said this on Saturday via its official website.


It said that the country registered 10 cases of Lassa fever across four states in one week, spanning May 20 to 26.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic (excessive bleeding) illness.

It is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated people.

Its symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, and chest pain.

In severe cases, it manifests in unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

The Center said the number of confirmed Lassa fever cases rose from four in week 20 to ten in the current reporting week 21.

It said that in addition to the rise in confirmed cases, there was an increase in the number of suspected cases compared to the same period in 2023.

Cumulatively, it said that the country has recorded 897 confirmed cases and 162 deaths in 2024 with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.1 percent, which is higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023 (17.1 percent).

According to it, 28 states have confirmed, at least, one case across 125 local government areas (LGA) in 2024.

It noted that 65 percent of the confirmed cases were recorded from four states: Ondo, Bauchi, Edo and Plateau, while 35 percent were reported from 25 states.

Of the 65 percent, it said that Ondo State accounted for 25 percent, Edo, 22 percent, and Bauchi, 18 percent.

The NCDC said that people between the ages of 31 and 40 were predominantly affected by the disease, stressing that no health worker was infected in the reporting week.

It said that the surge highlighted the growing concern and the need for heightened surveillance and preventive measures across the country.

The public health agency urged the public to adhere to recommended safety protocols and to report any symptoms to local health authorities promptly.

The NCDC said it was also intensifying its efforts to trace contacts and implement control measures to curb the spread of the disease.

The agency said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and was working with state health authorities to ensure a coordinated response.

“The National Lassa Fever Multi-Partner, Multi-Sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) continues coordinating the response at all levels,” it said.

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