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Lassa fever spreads to 16 states, claims 20 lives, says NCDC



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has alerted that lassa fever has spread across 16 states of Nigeria with hundreds of cases recorded.

The agency specifically disclosed via its official website that between February 26 and March 3, a period of one week, it recorded 20 deaths and 109 cases of lassa fever in 16 states.

It explained that lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic (excessive bleeding) illness that is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents or contaminated persons.

It has symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and, in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings.

It stated that the predominant age group affected is 31 to 40, while the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9.

READ ALSO: NCDC confirms Lassa fever outbreak in Kaduna

The agency assured that the National Lassa Fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral incident management system had been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The agency outlined the affected states to include Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Benue, Ebonyi, Kogi, Kaduna, Taraba, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Rivers, Ogun, and Oyo States.

The report noted that 62 percent of all the confirmed cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while the remaining 38 percent were from the other states.

It added that for week nine of 2024, there was an increase in the confirmed cases from 96 in week eight.

“Cumulatively, the report shows that from weeks one to nine, Nigeria recorded 682 confirmed cases and 128 deaths with a case fatality rate, CFR, of 18.8 percent, which is higher than the CFR for the same period in 2023, at 16.1 percent,” said NCDC.

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