By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported an additional confirmed Lassa fever cases the week ending February 21, bringing the country total to 102.

In addition, three additional deaths were reported–bringing the death toll to 22 for the first seven weeks of 2021.

These numbers are significantly lower to the number of confirmed cases/deaths seen in the record year of 2020 when 586 cases/103 deaths were reported during the same period.

In total for 2021, 8 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 32 Local Government Areas- Of all confirmed cases, 85% are from Edo (49%), Ondo (25%) and Taraba (11%) States.

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Lassa Fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF). The causative agent is a single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus in the family arenaviridae, the Lassa virus. This zoonotic disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality, transmitted by the multi-mammate rat (mastomys natalensis), one of the most common rats in equatorial Africa. The disease was first discovered in a town called Lassa in Borno State, Nigeria in 1969.

The actual incidence rate in Nigeria is unknown, but case fatality rates range from 3% to 42% (and over the last two years has remained between 20% and 25%). Historically, outbreaks occur during the dry season (November to April); however, in recent years, cases have also occurred during the rainy season. Lassa fever importation into non-endemic countries has occurred in the UK, USA, and Germany, amongst others.

Nigeria issues Lassa fever Public Health Advisory