From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), yesterday, Lassa fever killed no fewer than 85 persons in the first six weeks of 2023.

The information contained in NCDC’s weekly epidemiological report, also indicated that case fatality rate (CFR) was at 16.0 per cent which was lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (16.5 per cent).

“So far, 20 states have recorded, at least, one confirmed case of Lassa fever across 79 Local Government Areas. 74 per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 26 per cent were reported from six states with confirmed Lassa fever cases. 

“Of the 74 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo led the table with 36 per cent reported case. Edo State recorded 31 per cent, and Bauchi state had seven per cent.”

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NCDC added that in week six of this year, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 106 cases recorded in week five of 2023 to 68 cases. 

“These cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Taraba, Ebonyi, Gombe, Benue, Nasarawa, and Plateau states,” it said.

NCDC said the predominant age group affected was 21 to 30 years (range: 1 to 93 years, median age: 31 years), while the male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases was 1:0.9.

Meanwhile, it said the number of suspected cases increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2022.  “Four new healthcare workers were affected at the end of sixth week of the year, while the national lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre had been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels,” it said.