Seventy-two people have died of Lassa fever since January 1, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said yesterday.
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 and 72 deaths were also confirmed, eight of which are probable.
Edo remains the worst as 43 per cent of all confirmed cases are from the state.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it 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,” alemu said.
Three weeks ago, Minister of Health Isaac Adewole said the outbreak of the disease had affected 15 states with 31 deaths recorded.