NCDC Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 846 Lassa fever cases across 99 Local Government Areas in 25 states.
The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years and the male-to-female ratio for the confirmed cases is 10:9.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.
Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.
Lassa fever remains a major public health challenge as poor environmental sanitation, poor awareness, and late presentation of cases are reported to fuel the epidemic in Nigeria.
The NCDC, in its week 13 situation report on Thursday, said the suspected cases is now 4,338 and the disease has killed no fewer than 148 persons in the country.
With the current death toll, the agency noted that the case-fatality ratio of the outbreak stood at 17.5 per cent.
The report showed that the 23 new cases recorded from March 27 to April 2, 2023, were recorded from Bauchi, Ondo, Edo, Taraba, Ebonyi, Oyo and Kebbi States.
“Cumulatively from week one to week 13, 2023, 148 deaths have been reported with a case
fatality rate of 17.5 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2022 (19.1 per cent).
“In total for 2023, 25 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 99 Local Government Areas.
“Seventy-two of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi) while 28 per cent were reported from four states with confirmed
Lassa fever cases. Of the 72 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 32 per cent, Edo 29 per cent, and Bauchi 11 per cent.”
So far this year, the disease has infected 39 healthcare workers in Nigeria.
The NCDC noted that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre has been activated to coordinate the response activities at all levels.