Fact check: Has Lassa fever killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo?

Fact check: Has Lassa fever killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo?

Jibayo Adeyeye, the acting commissioner for health in Ondo, recently claimed that Lassa fever has killed more people in the southwest state than COVID-19.

The acting commissioner also claimed the Lassa fever is deadlier than COVID-19.

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The governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, briefs residents of the state on his administration's efforts to contain COVID-19

Ondo's acting health commissioner says Lassa fever killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo. Photo credit: @RotimiAkeredolu
Source: Twitter

Verdict

Adeyeye's claims that Lassa fever has killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo is true.

The data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicates that 81 people have died from Lassa fever in Ondo state while 41 people have also died from COVID-19 from the southwest state.

Also, the acting commissioner's claim that Lassa fever is deadlier than COVID-19 is mostly true. While Lassa fever's Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is 20.6%, COVID-19's global CFR is currently 2.2%.

Full Text

In a recent report by The Cable, Jibayo Adeyeye, the acting commissioner for health in Ondo, alleged that in spite of the fatalities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lassa fever has killed more people in the southwest state.

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Legit.ng gathers that the acting commissioner made this known during a road walk sensitisation on the eradication of Lassa fever in Owo, Owo local government area of the state.

He also alleged that Lassa fever is deadlier than COVID-19. He specifically stated that COVID-19 has so far killed 41 people in the state while Lassa fever has killed more than 80.

Verification

Claim 1: Lassa fever has killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo

To confirm the veracity of the acting commissioner's claim, Legit.ng checked the portal of the NCDC, Nigeria's disease control agency, for relevant data.

Since February that Nigeria confirmed its index case of COVID-19 in Lagos till the time of filing this report, Ondo state has recorded 1,798 cases of the virus.

However, 67 cases are on admission while 1,690 people have recovered. The NCDC's data also indicates that 41 people have died from the deadly virus.

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Meanwhile, the NCDC's latest data on Lassa fever, released on Saturday, December 19, also shows that Ondo state has 420 confirmed cases and 81 deaths since the beginning of the year 2020.

Based on this, the acting commissioner's claim that Lassa fever has killed more people than COVID-19 in Ondo is true.

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Claim 2: Lassa fever is deadlier than COVID-19

Considering the Case Fatality Ratio (CFR), the acting commissioner's claim that Lassa fever is deadlier than COVID-19 is mostly correct.

The NCDC's latest data indicates that Lassa fever has 20.6% CFR in 2020 while COVID-19's global case fatality rate is currently 2.2%.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CFR is the proportion of individuals diagnosed with a disease who die from that disease and is, therefore, a measure of severity among detected cases.

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