By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews 

On January 24, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) declared a Lassa fever outbreak. By May 10, the country had reported their 1,000th case–the largest Lassa fever outbreak ever reported in any country, ‘anywhere in the world’.

Image/ Vardion at the English Wikipedia project

Since early May, Nigerian health officials have reported 61 confirmed Lassa fever cases.

In the week ending August 16, one case was reported from Edo State, bringing the country total to 1061, an increase from 658 cases reported during the same period in 2019.

222 deaths have been reported to date with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 20.9%.

Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria and cases are recorded all year round. The Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents which can be found in our environment. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.

Lassa fever is largely transmitted through contact with items or surfaces contaminated with urine, feces, saliva or blood of infected rats. It can also be transmitted from person-to-person through contact with blood, urine, feces and other body fluids of an infected person. To minimize the risk of infection, members of the public are advised to ensure their environment is always kept clean to avoid contact with rodents.