The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said the current outbreak of Lassa fever has affected 15 states with 105 laboratory confirmed cases, three probable cases and 31 deaths.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Adewole said this at the emergency National Council of Health meeting in Abuja on Monday.
He said that already this year, Nigeria had recorded 77 cases of Lassa fever.
According to him, the cases are in Bauchi, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Ondo, Osun and Lagos states.
The minister said 10 health care workers were affected in four states; seven in Ebonyi State; with one health worker each from Nasarawa , Kogi and Benue states.
Adewole said of the 31 deaths from Lassa fever outbreak, four health workers died as a result of the disease; three deaths were recorded in Ebonyi and one in Kogi.
The minister said the meeting was, therefore, summoned to discuss the state of public health challenges in the country with focus on some of the challenges that had bedevilled the nation in the past few weeks.
Adewole added that Lassa fever had been a recurrent outbreak in the country, stressing that Nigeria has battled with a series of outbreaks in the past few months.
According to the minister, Nigeria dealt with Ebola in 2014; the country reacted strongly and the response was acknowledged by the international community.
“The success against Ebola created a situation whereby every other public health challenge in Nigeria is to be seen to be a tea party. Therefore, assume that Lassa fever and other challenges would be likened to malaria, that they were not serious,’’ he said.
The minister said Nigeria had also dealt with the resurgence of polio, adding that the issuance of re certification would be tougher than it was before.