Death toll of lassa fever outbreak rises in Nigeria across 23 states
''Nigeria has registered an upsurge in the number of Lassa Fever cases since the beginning of the year, with 365 positive cases and 47 deaths reported from 23 states across the country.
According to week five situation report on the disease released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, the number of states reporting at least a case of the disease rose to 23 from 19 in the previous week.
The 23 states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Cross River, Delta, Osun, Ogun, Abia, Taraba, Plateau, FCT, Gombe, Enugu, Kebbi and Anambra.
Three states, Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi, remain the states with the most affected cases.
However, there was a reduction in the number of new deaths (six) in the reporting week as compared to the previous week where 19 deaths were reported.
In the data released by NCDC, new confirmed cases have increased from 95 cases in week four to 104 cases.
These were reported from 15 states (Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Delta, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, FCT, Gombe, Enugu, Kebbi and Anambra).
Also, one new health care worker was affected in Delta State. Five health workers had been reported among the dead from the disease in the previous weeks.
Lassa Fever has become a yearly occurrence in the country. This has been raising concerns among health experts who believe Nigeria is not making enough conscious efforts to combat it.
Due to the yearly death of their members from the disease, the Association of Resident Doctors called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on Lassa fever.
The association said it has become a yearly occurrence for them to lose their colleagues to the disease as they are often the first responders to Lassa fever patients.
They said health workers are susceptible to infection with the disease because health facilities are poorly equipped.
“Declaring an emergency is owing to the poor preparedness in response to our health institution in handling cases of Lassa fever,” they said. ''