Lassa fever has continued to spread in Nigeria with 913 suspected cases and 73 deaths in 17 states this year with Edo and Ondo bearing 75 per cent of the burden.
The acute viral haemorrhagic illness of two-21 days duration is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
An earlier report, penultimate week, had put the figures at 615 suspected cases with 43 deaths. The unprecedented outbreak, in severe cases, causes facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure.
Analysis of these figures published by The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Abuja showed that cases of Lassa fever have rocketed by nearly 50 per cent in ten days (from 615 on February 13 to 913 on February 23). Another interesting thing is that the case fatality ratio (CFR) has increased from 15 per cent recorded by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Fact Sheet on Lassa fever to 23.9 per cent by the NCDC.
The Guardian, February 26, 2018