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Casualties From Lassa Fever Rise As COVID-19 Cases Begin To Drop


Although Nigeria, like other many countries, is witnessing a steady decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 cases, health officials are now startled at the recent amount of Lassa fever out breaks within the country. This disease, having claimed more lives in 2022 than within the past 4 years, has proven itself more than once to be a huge burden upon the nation’s health sector.

Lassa fever, otherwise known as Lassa Hemorrhage, is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever that is caused by the Lassa virus. It can usually be contracted through close contact with an infected animal, particularly the Mastomys rat species. Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through a direct exposure to food or household items that were most likely contaminated with the urine and/or faeces of an infected Mastomys rat.

A Blood Sample Is Being Collected From A Mastomys Rat (Lassa Fever Carrier)

Official Lassa fever reports from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have confirmed a yearly increase in confirmed cases. In 2017, a total of 298 confirmed cases were reported according to an analysis of NCDC data.

In 2018, there had been an increase in cases within the country as 528 cases were reported.

In 2019, the NCDC had reported 796 Lassa fever cases whilst the Disease Control Centre confirmed a total of 1,165 cases that were during the height of the pandemic in 2020.

In the year 2021, Nigeria witnessed a surge in Lassa fever cases and deaths as no less than 4,654 suspected cases had been reported alongside 103 deaths.

As of 2022, the NCDC has reported a total of 3,542 suspected cases and 127 deaths as of March 2022. The NCDC noted that out of all the confirmed cases, “67 percent of the cases had come from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi States.”