158 dead as Lassa fever outbreak doubles


Lassa fever

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE death toll in Nigeria’s Lassa fever outbreak has doubled over the past year.

Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that 158 people have died since the beginning of the year.

Statistics are for January to June, when 797 cases have been confirmed.

This is an increase from 62 deaths in 303 cases confirmed during the same period last year.

In total for this year, 24 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 99 Local Government Areas.

Nigeria has 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Of all confirmed cases, 68 percent are from Bauchi, Edo and Ondo states.

The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years.

The National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

Lassa is a viral haemorrhagic fever that is primarily transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces from Mastomys rats.

It is endemic in Nigeria where the annual peak of cases is typically observed during the dry season (December–April).

– CAJ News