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Death toll from Lassa fever rises to 110

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says a total of 110 persons have died in the current Lassa fever outbreak.

In its latest weekly report which was released on Tuesday, the centre said a total of 1121 suspected cases have been reported from the beginning of the year to March 4, out of which 353 are confirmed positive.

It said eight of those cases are probable; 723, negative; and 37, awaiting laboratory results.

The centre also said 35 new cases of the virus were confirmed in five states from February 26 to March 4, with a breakdown of the cases showing: Edo (19), Ondo (five), Bauchi (one), Ebonyi (nine) and Plateau (one).

Out of the 35 cases, seven deaths were recorded from three states of Ondo (two), Edo (two), and Ebonyi (three).

The report noted that with the 110 deaths recorded from the virus in 2018, the case fatality rate in confirmed and probable cases is 23.8 percent.

“Two health workers were confirmed positive this week in Ebonyi state,” it said, adding: “Cumulatively, sixteen health care workers have been affected in six states — Ebonyi (nine), Nasarawa (one), Kogi (one), Benue (one), Ondo (one) and Edo (three) with three deaths in Ebonyi and one in Kogi.”

The NCDC also said while the predominant age-group affected is 21-40 years, 85% percent of all confirmed cases are from three states of Edo (44 percent), Ondo (25 percent) and Ebonyi (16 percent).

The report further stated: “A total of 3126 contacts have been identified from 18 active states.

“Of these 1586 are currently being followed up, 1485 have completed 21 days follow up and 21 of the 47 symptomatic contacts have tested positive from three states of Edo, 11; Ondo, 7 and Ebonyi, 3).”

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the outbreak is the worst in Nigeria’s history.