Death toll from Nigeria fever rising

Lassa 1From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AN escalating outbreak of the Lassa fever has left at least 43 people dead in disease-prone Nigeria.

The acute viral haemorrhagic fever is endemic but for the current outbreak, the hotspots are the southern states of Ebonyi, Edo and Ondo.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is scaling up its response to the eruption, which has spread to 17 of the 36 states and might have infected up to 450 people in less than five weeks.

Among those infected are 11 health workers, four of whom have died.

“The high number of Lassa fever cases is concerning. We are observing an unusually high number of cases for this time of year,” said Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO representative to Nigeria.

WHO is advising national authorities on strengthening infection, prevention and control practices in healthcare settings.

With the increase in the number of cases, WHO initially donated personal protective equipment to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and to the affected states.

It procured laboratory equipment to support the prompt diagnosis of the fever.

NCDC through its National Lassa Fever Emergency Operations Centre has continued coordinating and providing support to states in the outbreak.

The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur.

It is endemic to several West African countries.

Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all reported cases in the past month.
CAJ News

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Posted by on Feb 16 2018. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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