Nigerian health officials reported three additional confirmed Lassa fever cases during the week ending Nov. 18 in Edo and Ondo states. One death was reported among the cases.
Since the beginning of the year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has seen 562 confirmed and 17 probable cases and 161 deaths ( a greater than 25 percent case-fatality rate).
Since Jan. 1, 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 90 Local Government Areas (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia, Adamawa and Enugu).
Edo, Ondo, and Ebonyi states are in active phase of the outbreak, in fact, 83% of all confirmed cases are from Edo (46%), Ondo (24%) and Ebonyi (13%) states.
Lassa fever is spread primarily by rats. Rats that carry the Lassa fever virus live in homes and areas where food is stored. People usually become ill with Lassa fever after direct contact with rat droppings or urine and through touching objects or eating food contaminated with rat droppings or urine.
Lassa fever may also spread when a person comes into contact with an infected person’s blood, tissue, or body fluids, especially when that person is seriously ill.