By: Chinonso Nwosu

From the beginning of the year through July 23, 2023, Nigeria has recorded a total of 171 deaths due to Lassa fever in confirmed cases.

The Nigeria CDC reported 1009 total confirmed cases during this period and a total number of 6597 suspected cases in 28 states of the country which includes Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Anambra state.

73% of the confirmed cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi state.

The case fatality rate of 16.9% has shown to be lower than the CFR of the same time in 2022. The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years and more female to male ratio.

Lassa fever virus is a zoonotic disease that is obtained from a rat known as mastomys rats. About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa fever show no symptom. 1 in 5 infection results in severe disease where the virus affects several organs such as liver, spleen, and kidneys. Symptoms include fever, general weakness, malaise. After a few days it progresses toothache, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough and in severe cases facial swelling, fluid in lung cavity, bleeding from mouth, nose, vagina, or gastrointestinal tract.

Chinonso Nwosu is a final year veterinary medical student from Nigeria with an interest in Global Health Security. She also hosts an online series titled Zoonosis Series.

Anthrax in Nigeria: What we know to date