The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed that no fewer than 143 persons died of Lassa fever disease within the last 11 months in 22 states. This was made known by the communications assistant, NCDC, Mr Chimezie Anueyiagu, while presenting the situation report on the disease at the Media and Civil Society Organization Advocacy meeting on Lassa fever in Abuja.
Anueyiagu explained that based on collated data between January and November 11, the number of suspected cases of Lassa fever was 3,016. He said that of the number, 559 cases were confirmed positive, with 17 observed as probable cases while 2,440 cases were confirmed negative.
He said, “Since the outbreaks, there have been 143 deaths in confirmed cases and 17 probable cases. The rate of fatality cases is confirmed as 22.6 percent. The 22 states have recorded at least one confirmed case of Lassa fever across 90 local government areas,” he said.
The communication assistant however, did not disclose the affected states. Anueyiagu explained that probable cases were cases not tested but suspected to be cases of Lassa fever or possibly other diseases.
NCDC’s Deputy Director, Elsie Ilori, also said that there were ongoing plans to review the present guidelines as well as develop a five-year strategic plan to tackle Lassa fever in Nigeria.He said that the review was to enable the centre to meet up with the situations recorded in the states, and lamented that Nigeria had the highest burden of the disease.