Lassa fever kills 21 in Nigeria: health officials

Twenty-one people have died from Lassa fever in Nigeria this month, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Wednesday, in the latest outbreak in Africa's most populous nation.

"Since the beginning of 2018, 80 cases have been classified as: 77 confirmed cases, three probable cases with 21 deaths," the NCDC said on Twitter.

Cases have been reported in 13 of 36 states while 10 had been affected, it added.

Lassa fever belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and in worst-case scenarios, haemorrhagic bleeding.

Its name comes from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969.

More than one hundred people were killed in 2016 in one of the nation's worst outbreaks of the disease, affecting 14 of the 36 states, including Lagos and the capital Abuja.

The virus is spread through contact with food or household items contaminated with rats' urine or faeces or after coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

The disease can be prevented through enhanced personal hygiene, avoidance of all contact with rats and keeping the house and surrounding clean.


Explore further

Lassa fever kills two in Lagos, 100 others on watch: hospital

© 2018 AFP

Citation: Lassa fever kills 21 in Nigeria: health officials (2018, January 31) retrieved 19 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-01-lassa-fever-nigeria-health.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more