This special edition of the weekly update spotlights emerging threats to public health and human security in the Niger Delta with a focus on the outbreak of Lassa fever in Edo and Ondo State. Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is a zoonotic and acute viral disease caused by the Lassa virus. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, weakness, headache, cough, diarrhea, chest pain and breathing problems. About 80% of those infected with the virus may not show symptoms. It is an epidemic-prone infectious disease with significant public health consequences. According to epidemiological data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 54 cases of Lassa Fever and 12 deaths were reported across Nigeria in January 2021. Cases were reported in 23 LGAs across eight States, including Edo and Ondo. According to NCDC’s Lassa fever Situation Reports, as of January 24, 2021, about 55% and 28% of all confirmed cases were reported in Edo and Ondo State respectively. Ondo State also had the highest number of reported Lassa fever related deaths during the period, with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 38%.
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