By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported an additional 95 confirmed cases in the week ending Jan. 26.

Scanning electron micrograph of Lassa virus budding off a Vero cell.

This brings the total confirmed Lassa fever cases in 2020 to 258, including 41 deaths.

The new cases reported last week were reported from 19 states (Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kano, Borno, Nasarawa, Kogi, Rivers, Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Delta, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Osun and Ogun).

Of all confirmed cases, 89% are from Edo (38%), Ondo (38%) and Ebonyi (11%) states.

The overall case fatality rate (CFR) for 2020 is (15.9%).

Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Nigeria as sporadic cases have been reported since 1969 when the disease was first identified in Borno state. The peak season is anticipated from December through June as has been typified by the ongoing outbreak

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.