In the past three weeks, active transmission of Lassa fever has been reported in five states (Bauchi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, and Plateau) of Nigeria.

Nigeria map/CIA

13 new suspected cases were reported from four states during the last week of July, namely: Plateau (5), Ondo (5) Bauchi (2), and Ogun (1), including two deaths.

Since the resurgence of the current Lassa fever outbreak in December 2016, 681 suspected cases including 112 deaths (overall case fatality rate 16.4%) have been reported.

Nigeria is one of several West African countries in which Lassa fever is endemic, with seasonal outbreaks occurring annually between December and June. In 2016, Nigeria reported 273 suspected cases and 149 deaths (case fatality rate 55%) from 23 states. In 2017, Benin, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, and Togo experienced outbreaks that have since been controlled.

The current outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, however, is continuing beyond the normal season.

This persistent Lassa fever outbreak comes against the background of a protracted humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the country, as well as outbreaks of cholera and hepatitis E.

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