Lassa fever killed a total of 242 persons in Nigeria in 2020, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said this in a situation report.
The NCDC also disclosed that the figure is 72 persons higher than the 170-casualty figure recorded in 2019.
From the NCDC’s report, Nigeria has so far recorded 1,175 confirmed cases of the disease in 2020 as against the 817 confirmed cases recorded in 2019.
These cases were recorded in 27 out of the nation’s 36 states and 130 local government areas out of the country’s 774. In 2019, however, the cases were recorded in 23 states and 86 local governments.
Fatality ratio for 2020 was put at 20.6 per cent while that of 2019 was 20.8 per cent.
“In Week 51, the number of new confirmed cases increased from five in Week 50 to 12 cases. These were reported from two states; Edo and Ondo,” the highlights of the report read.
Lassa fever spreads to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
The disease is endemic to the West African country and its name comes from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969.
It is prevalent in part of West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Neighbouring countries are also at risk.