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Lassa fever outbreak: death toll in Nigeria rises to 123

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ABUJA, Nigeria: The death toll from Lassa fever in Nigeria has climbed to 123 this year. although the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce infections across the state, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) official said on Sunday.

According to the NCDC, 659 reported cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed across the West African country since January. Out of the figure, 45 health workers were infected by Lassa fever between January and March, the public health agency said. Some 91 local government areas across 23 out of Nigeria’s 36 states have reported the disease so far.

The NCDC said with the total number of deaths so far recorded, the case fatality rate for the Lassa fever outbreak stands at 18.7 percent. The disease control agency stated that the predominant age group so far affected by the disease ranged between 21 and 30 years.

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

In January, the NCDC said it had activated the national multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary Lassa fever emergency operations center in response to the outbreak in the country.

Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic (excessive bleeding) illness transmitted by infected animals and transferred to humans by food, infected household items, or contaminated people.                       The Lassa virus is widely spread to humans by African rats. 

Fever, headache, sore throat, overall body fatigue, cough, vertigo, vomiting, diarrhea, muscular aches, chest discomfort, and unexplained bleeding from the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and other body openings are some of the symptoms.

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