The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 72 people have died of Lassa fever since January 1, 2018.
The development is contained in the centre’s situation report on the virus.
According to the report, dated February 25, 1,081 suspected cases were reported in 18 states.
The states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe and Ekiti.
Of the suspected cases, 317 are said to be confirmed, while 72 deaths were also confirmed, eight of which are probable.
Edo remains the worst as 43% of all confirmed cases are from the state.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said this is the worst outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria.
“Lassa fever has never reached this case count in Nigeria before,” said Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO representative to Nigeria.
“The ability to rapidly detect cases of infection in the community and refer them early for treatment improves patients’ chances of survival and is critical to this response,”
“Given the large number of states affected, many people will seek treatment in health facilities that are not appropriately prepared to care for Lassa fever patients and the risk of infection to healthcare workers is likely to increase.”
Three weeks ago, Isaac Adewole, minister of health, said the current outbreak of the disease had affected 15 states with 31 deaths recorded.
This story was originally reported by The Cable