By Abujah Racheal, Abuja.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) registered 77 new Lassa fever cases and six-related deaths between Jan. 9 and Jan. 15.
It stated on Wednesday that the new cases were recorded in 25 local government areas of nine states of the federation.
It added that 33 of the cases were recorded in Ondo State; 25 in Edo; six in Ebonyi State; five in Bauchi State; four in Benue State and one each in Kogi, Imo, Oyo and Nasarawa states.
Two of the six deaths were each recorded in Edo and Ebonyi states, while Bauchi and Imo states recorded a death each.
The NCDC stated also that a total of 105 cases and seven deaths had been confirmed in 10 states of the federation.
“In Week Two (Jan. 9 to Jan. 15), the number of new confirmed cases increased from 30 in Week One, 2023 to 77 cases.
“Cumulatively from Week One to Week Two, 2023, seven deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 7.8 per cent, which is lower than the 11.5 per cent rate for the corresponding period in 2022.
“In total for 2023, 10 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 30 local government areas.
“The predominant age group affected is 21 years to 30 years.
“The number of suspected cases decreased, compared to that reported for the corresponding period in 2022. No healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week,’’ it explained.
It advised Nigerians to ensure proper environmental sanitation, keep the environment clean at all times, block all holes to prevent rats from entering the house to prevent Lassa fever.
It also advised proper covering of dustbins and refuse disposal conduits.
“Communities should set up dumpsites very far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes; store foodstuffs in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids.
“Avoid drying foodstuffs outside on the floor, roadside where they will be exposed to contamination; avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings,’’ it said.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus.
People become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items that are contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats.
The virus can also be spread through infected bodily fluids.