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The death toll from the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has risen to 183, up from the previous 181, according to the latest situation report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The report obtained by our correspondent on Friday also showed that the confirmed cases are now 1,028 across 110 Local Government Areas and 27 states, as of December 11.

The 49th-week report showed that the suspected cases stood at 7,907.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

According to the World Health Organisation, Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.

The report read in part, “In week 49, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 22 in week 48, 2022 to 13 cases. These were reported from Bauchi, Ondo, Ebonyi, and Sokoto states.

“Cumulatively from week one to week 49, 2022, 183 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 17.8 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (20.9 per cent).

“In total for 2022, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 110 local government areas. Of all confirmed cases (72 per cent) Ondo recorded 33 per cent, Edo, 25 per cent; and Bauchi, 14 per cent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21 to 30 years (range: 0 to 90 years, median age: 30 years). The male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.

“No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 49. National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral technical working group continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.”