Lassa fever spreads to 22 states, death toll hits 109 

Lassa fever has continued to spread in Nigeria with 676 confirmed cases recorded across 89 local government areas in 22 states of the country.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and prevention made this known in its Lassa fever situation report for week nine spanning January to March 5, 2023.

The report showed that the death toll had risen to 109, up from the previous 104.

With the current death toll, the agency noted that the case-fatality ratio of the outbreak stood at 16.1 per cent.

The NCDC noted that 72 per cent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi states while 28 per cent were reported from two states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 72 per cent confirmed cases, Ondo reported 33 per cent, Edo, 29 per cent, and Bauchi, 10 per cent.

According to the World Health Organisation, 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.