Nigeria’s death toll from Lassa fever reaches 155; death rate less than 2021
Lagos Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said that the death toll from Lassa fever in Nigeria this year has risen to 155, amid government measures to reduce infection across the country. In its latest Lassa fever status report, which arrived in Xinhua on Saturday, the public health agency said there had been 782 confirmed cases of the disease, with 4,939 suspected cases since the beginning of this year.
With 155 deaths recorded in early June, the NCDC said the fatality rate in the country is 19.8 per cent, which is lower than the 20.2 per cent recorded for the same period in 2021. And 24 states have registered at least one. Confirmed cases this year with three states – Ondo, Edo and Bauchi – account for 68 percent of all confirmed cases.
What is Lassa fever and how do humans contract it?
According to the World Health Organization, Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus by coming into contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in rodent populations in parts of West Africa.
What are the symptoms of Lassa fever?
In some cases, Lassa fever has symptoms similar to malaria, appearing between one and three weeks after exposure to the virus. In mild cases, the disease causes fever, fatigue, weakness and headache. The NCDC said that it is committed to support the state’s public health teams to achieve the goal of reducing the Lassa fever case fatality rate to single digits. The disease control agency said it is currently distributing medical response items to states and treatment centers as part of measures to control the spread of the disease.