Nigeria Lassa fever tally tops 500 confirmed cases


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in Lassa fever follow-up In Nigeria in 2023, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reported an additional 68 confirmed cases during the week ending 12 February. Confirmed cases have been reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Taraba, Ebonyi, Gombe,
Benoy, Nasarawa, and Plateau that week.

This brings the total confirmed cases to 531 during the first six weeks of 2023. This represents an increase of 48 percent compared to the same period in 2022 (358 cases).

In total for 2023, 20 countries recorded at least one confirmed case in 79 local government areas.

Cumulatively from week 1 to week 6 2023, 85 deaths were reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 16.0% which is lower than the fatality rate generated for the same period in 2022 (16.5%).

Four new healthcare workers (HCWs) were affected during the week ending February 12, bringing the total of healthcare workers affected this year to 28.

Infectious disease books

Lassa fever is an acute viral disease and viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF). The causative agent is a single-stranded RNA virus in the family arenaviridaeLassa virus. This zoonotic disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality, and is transmitted by the rat multi-mammalian (mastomys natalensis), one of the most common rats in tropical Africa. The disease was first discovered in a town called Lhasa in Borno State, Nigeria in 1969.

Lassa fever remains a major public health challenge in West Africa with Nigeria bearing the brunt. Lassa fever occurs throughout the year but more cases are recorded during the dry season i.e. from November to May.

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