The death toll from the Lassa fever disease ravaging the country since the beginning of the year has risen to 101, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has said, Vanguard reports.
The health agency, in its situation report of April 8, said 408 cases of the disease had been confirmed from 20 states, where the disease has been active.
The states are Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory, with Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi having the highest reported cases. The NCDC epidemiological report for week 14 since the disease started, shows that 408 cases have been classified as confirmed and nine probable cases, including 101 deaths. There are also 4,480 contacts identified through contact tracing of people who had got in contact with confirmed cases, from the 20 Lassa fever active states. This year, the country is witnessing the largest outbreak ever of the disease since it was first discovered in Nigeria in 1969. However, NCDC’s epidemiological chart for this week indicates that there has been a steady decline compared to when it started, though there are still pocket outbreaks across the country. A virological expert, Oyewale Tomori, had called on the government to find a lasting solution to curbing the disease, noting that the country has been taking the same steps for the past 49 years without combating the disease.