Death toll from Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria rises to 123

(ORDO NEWS) — The death toll from Lassa fever in Nigeria has risen to 123 this year amid ongoing government measures to reduce cases across the country, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Sunday.

A total of 659 confirmed cases of Lassa fever have been reported in the West African country since January, the NCDC said in a statement.

Of that number, 45 healthcare workers were infected with Lassa fever between January and March, the public health agency said.

About 91 local government areas in 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states have reported the disease so far. The NCDC said that with the total number of deaths reported so far, the fatality rate for a Lassa fever outbreak is 18.7%.

The predominant age group affected by the disease ranges from 21 to 30, the disease control agency said. The NCDC noted that the Lassa virus carrier, the multi-uterine rat, is found throughout the West African region, urging neighboring countries to remain vigilant for the spread of Lassa fever.

The Disease Control Agency said it is currently distributing medical supplies to states and treatment centers as part of efforts to control the spread of the disease.

In January, the NCDC said it had activated a national multisectoral and multidisciplinary emergency operations center for Lassa fever in response to the country’s outbreak.

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