ABUJA, March 27 (Xinhua) — The death toll of Lassa fever in Nigeria this year has risen to 123 amid ongoing measures by the government to reduce infections across the country, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said Sunday.
A total of 659 confirmed cases of Lassa fever have been reported across the West African country since January, the NCDC said in a statement.
Out of the figure, 45 health workers were infected by Lassa fever between January and March, the public health agency said. Some 91 local government areas across 23 out of Nigeria’s 36 states have reported the disease so far.
The NCDC said with the total number of deaths so far recorded, the case fatality rate for the Lassa fever outbreak stands at 18.7 percent.
The predominant age group so far affected by the disease ranged between 21 and 30 years, the disease control agency stated.
The NCDC noted that the animal vector for the Lassa virus, the multimammate rat, is found throughout the West African region, thereby calling on neighboring countries to stay alert on the spread of the Lassa fever.
The disease control agency said it is currently distributing medical response commodities to states and treatment centers, as part of measures to control the spread of the disease.
In January, the NCDC said it had activated the national multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary Lassa fever emergency operations center in response to the outbreak in the country.