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NCDC records surge in Lassa Fever cases, 20 deaths in one week

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NCDC Cholera Nigeria

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported a surge in Lassa fever cases across the country, with 20 fatalities recorded within one week, from February 26 to March 3. This marks a significant escalation in the ongoing battle against the deadly viral disease.

During the ninth week of 2024, the NCDC observed a troubling rise in confirmed cases, with 96 new infections reported in the previous week alone.

Lassa fever, a severe viral illness transmitted primarily through contact with contaminated food or objects. Symptoms of Lassa fever range from fever, headache, and sore throat to more severe manifestations such as bleeding from various body parts.

Despite extensive efforts to contain the outbreak, the country continues to grapple with new cases and fatalities, underscoring the persistent danger posed by this infectious disease.

According to the latest data from the NCDC, Nigeria recorded a total of 109 confirmed cases of Lassa fever within the aforementioned one-week period.

This alarming figure brings the total number of confirmed cases documented from weeks one to nine of 2024 to 682, resulting in 128 deaths and a case fatality rate of 18.8%. This fatality rate exceeds the rate recorded for the same period in the previous year.

The outbreak has affected multiple states across Nigeria, including Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Benue, Ebonyi, Kogi, Kaduna, Taraba, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Rivers, Ogun, and Oyo.

Notably, 62% of the confirmed cases originated from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, with the remaining 38% spread across 24 other states.

Analysis of affected demographics revealed that the majority of individuals affected by Lassa fever fall within the age group of 31 to 40 years, with a slightly higher incidence among males compared to females.

In response to the escalating outbreak, the National Lassa Fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral incident management system has been activated to coordinate a comprehensive response at all levels through the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

This coordinated effort aims to enhance surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention measures to curb the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact on public health.

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