Lassa Fever deaths in Nigeria reach 200

Lassa Fever
Lassa Fever

Nigeria registered at least 200 deaths from Lassa fever in the past 11 months despite intensified measures by the government to reduce infections across the country, said the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.

In its latest Lassa fever situation report Saturday, the NCDC said there had been 1,170 confirmed cases from 114 local government areas across 28 states since the beginning of this year to Dec. 3. The most populous African country has so far recorded a total of 8,542 suspected cases.

With the current death toll, the public health institution report said the case-fatality rate of the Lassa fever outbreak stands at 17.1 percent.

The disease control agency said it is currently distributing medical response commodities to states and treatment centers while improving surveillance and community awareness, as part of measures to control the spread of the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with the urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.

In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms to malaria, appearing between one and three weeks after exposure to the virus. In mild cases, the disease causes fever, fatigue, weakness, and headache.

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