Nigeria reports 20 deaths from Lassa fever in 2021, results of the LASCOPE study

From NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported six more confirmed cases of Lassa fever last week, bringing the country to 247 cases this year.

50 deaths from confirmed cases, or 20 percent of the total, were reported.

A total of 14 states have registered at least one confirmed case in 52 local government areas for 2021.

Of all confirmed cases, 79% come from the states of Edo (44%), Ondo (28%) and Taraba (7%).

In addition, results of the largest prospective cohort study ever conducted on Lassa fever known as LASCOPE (LASsa Fever, Clinical Course and Predictive Factors in an Epidemic Context in Nigeria) by a research team from ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical ) Action) and its partners were published in The Lancet.

The LASCOPE study has enabled researchers and medical experts to better understand the factors that contribute to the death of people infected with the Lassa virus. It comprehensively documented and analyzed the clinical and biological parameters of more than 500 patients with viral hemorrhagic fever who were admitted to the Federal Medical Center in Owo in the Nigerian state of Ondo between April 2018 and March 2020.The LASCOPE project integrates research, patient care and infection prevention and control, and provides valuable insight into the evolution of future diagnostic tools, vaccines, and therapeutic studies to find more specific treatment.

“Lassa fever is a disease that is not well known,” said Dr. Marie Jaspard, specialist in infectious diseases at ALIMA and leading LASCOPE researcher. “Previous studies were all retrospective [based on the files of Lassa fever patients who had already been discharged from the health facility before the study began]This makes it difficult to measure the death rate and cause of death in Lassa patients. The results of the LASCOPE study are very helpful as we now know that 12% of infected patients die without early treatment, most of them from kidney or liver failure, especially in the elderly. In this way, we will be able to identify high-risk patients in the future and, above all, develop and evaluate effective treatments to improve the patient’s chances of survival. “

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