from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AT least 176 people have died from the rising outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria this year.
This is one death less than half the number of casualties documented this time last year.
The figures provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention are for the period January 1 to October 31.
During the same period last year, 89 deaths were confirmed, from 403 cases.
This year, cases have more than doubled to 958.
A total of 26 states, out of Nigeria’s 36 states, have reported an outbreak.
This time last year, 15 states had confirmed outbreaks.
Of all confirmed cases, 71 percent are from the states of Ondo (33 percent), Edo (25 percent) and Bauchi (13 percent).
The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years.
The virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faecal waste.
Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.
– CAJ News