The NCDC through its official website on Saturday said that the report for the 52nd week, from December 26 to January 1, showed that the suspected cases of Lassa fever in the country were 8,202.

It said that while no health worker cases were reported in the reporting week, around 63 health workers were infected by the disease in the country.

The public health agency said the country’s confirmed cases for 2022 now stand at 1,067, spread across 112 local government areas and 27 federal states.

He said the death toll from the Lassa fever outbreak in the country also stood at 189.

However, he said that the suspected cases were 8,202.

“In week 52, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 17 in week 51 of 2022 to 12 cases. These were reported from the states of Edo, Ebonyi and Benue.

“Cumulatively, from week one to week 52 of 2022, 189 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 17.7%, which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (20.0%). .

“Seventy-two percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported in these three states (Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi), while 23 percent were reported in 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

“Of the 72 percent confirmed cases, Ondo State reported 33 percent, Edo 25 percent, and Bauchi 14 percent.

“The predominant age group affected is 21 to 30 years (range: 1 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 what was reported for the same period in 2021,” he explained.

The NCDC said the National Lassa Fever Multi-Sector, Multi-Partner Technical Task Force continued to coordinate response activities at all levels.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that Lassa virus is transmitted to humans through infected rats of various mammals and that humans become infected by direct contact with the urine and feces of the virus-carrying rat.

People also contract the disease by touching dirty objects, eating contaminated food, or exposing themselves to open wounds or cuts.

Secondary person-to-person transmission can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, feces, or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Lassa fever can also be transmitted between patients and staff in poorly equipped hospitals where sterilization and protective clothing are not standard.

Meanwhile, a new vaccine promises to fight the lassa virus. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have achieved success with a new vaccine developed to combat Lassa virus, a pathogen that causes Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is lethal in humans and non-human primates with a mortality rate of up to 70 percent in hospitalized cases.

Up to 500,000 people are infected each year in West Africa. Lassa fever can also induce severe and long-lasting effects in survivors.

Up to a third of those infected suffer hearing loss or other neurological complications.