Officials say 80 have died in Nigeria’s Lassa fever outbreak

Lassa fever has claimed a total of 80 lives in its latest outbreak in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, said Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Abdulsalami Nasidi.

Rift Valley Fever

A total of 137 confirmed cases have so far been recorded since the disease broke out last November, the official told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Rift Valley Fever
“The total suspected case was 266 and 138 deaths in the whole country. But laboratory-wise, the center for disease control recorded 137 cases and 80 deaths,” he said.

The latest outbreak became worse in February but efforts have been intensified to tackle the threat and spread of Lassa fever and other hemorrhagic fevers in the country.

According to Nasidi, efforts put in place by the center for disease control, including drugs and vaccines, contributed to the slow rate of Lassa fever spread recorded in the last 10 days.

He said laboratories were also empowered, which led to a proper diagnosis of Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is an acute and often fatal viral disease, occurring mainly in West Africa. It is usually transmitted by contact with the saliva or excreta of rats accessing homes and food stores.

It was first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa located in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno. In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms with malaria.

The latest outbreak is said to be the worst of the virus in Nigeria in the past four years. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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