This year, Nigeria has reported the largest Lassa fever outbreak recorded in the country.

Nigeria Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

From 1 January 2018 to 29 April 2018, there have been 1,891 suspected cases and 116 deaths (case fatality rate 6.1%) reported from 21 states. Of the suspected cases, 420 were confirmed positive, 10 were classified as probable, 1 460 tested negative (non-cases), and one result is pending. Of the 116 deaths, 106 occurred among confirmed cases and 10 in probable cases, giving a case fatality rate of 27% in the confirmed and probable group.

However, the outbreak has stabilized in recent weeks with only sporadic cases being reported. During the last week of April,  four new confirmed cases and one new death were reported from three states: Taraba (2 cases), Edo (1 case and 1 death) and Ondo (1 case).

Thirty-seven healthcare workers from eight states have been affected since the start of the outbreak. There were eight deaths among healthcare workers in three states.

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Overall, the number of new cases has been declining in recent weeks, which suggests that the response efforts have been successful. The level of response has been de-escalated due the continuous decline of cases in the past nine weeks.