Nigerian health officials reported 23 new confirmed Lassa fever cases in the past week, bringing the outbreak total to 495 confirmed positive since the beginning of the year.

The new case were reported from the following nine states: – Edo(8), Ondo(4), Ebonyi(3), Bauchi(3), Taraba(1), Imo(1), Enugu(1), Benue(1) and Kebbi(1).

In addition, four new deaths in Edo (2), Benue(1) and Bauchi(1) were reported. Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 114 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 23.0%.

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.

Nigeria Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman