from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) –THE ongoing outbreak Lassa fever has left 188 people dead in Nigeria since the beginning of the year.
New cases have emerged from three states, namely Gombe, Ondo and Taraba.
Yet, the government said the situation had greatly improved, with only a few sporadic cases being reported.
The disease trend has been steadily declining since February when a peak of 115 confirmed cases and with 18 deaths were reported on a particular week.
In total, there have been 4 475 suspected Lassa fever cases since January.
The confirmed cases occurred across 127 local government areas in 27 out of 36 states.
Edo and Ondo, both in the west, account for 65 percent of all confirmed cases.
The main age group affected is 21-30 years.
A total of 37 health workers were infected with the disease in 2020.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) stated that although the fever outbreak appeared to be declining, there was little room for complacency as environmental conditions conducive for the disease to spread still need to be tackled.
“Local and national authorities need to remain vigilant on this event in the wake of the shifting priorities to other health emergencies, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a spokesperson.
Lassa fever is usually spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of infected rats.
It can spread via direct contact between humans.
The disease is known endemic in Nigeria and many West African countries where sporadic cases are reported all year round.
It peaks between December and April.
– CAJ News