UN health officials report that the Lassa fever situation seems to be increasing in parts of Nigeria. In the week ending Dec. 2, ), 13 new confirmed cases were reported from five states: Ondo (8), Edo (2), Gombe (1), Kano (1) and Plateau (1). There were three new deaths, one each, in Edo, Gombe and Plateau states.
This follows an outbreak declared earlier in the year.
Since the beginning of the year, Nigeria has reported 581 confirmed Lassa fever cases, including 147 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of about 25 per cent.
Overall, the majority of all confirmed cases were reported in Edo (45%), Ondo (25%) and Ebonyi (12%) states.
In addition, 44 healthcare workers contracted Lassa, in which 10 died.
Three major treatment centres established in the three hotspot states, as well as others across the country, continue to manage confirmed cases. Commodities including personal protective equipment, ribavirin, thermometers and hand sanitizers have been prepositioned in these treatment centres.
Surveillance has been enhanced in hotspot and high risk communities.
Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria, with cases being reported all year round and peaking between December and June. The unprecedented scale of the outbreak that occurred early this year overwhelmed the existing capacities for response, leading to a declaration of an emergency. However, during and following the outbreak, sufficient capacity has been established. However, sporadic cases continued to be reported.