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Health

72 killed in Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria

IANS | February 23, 2024 10:27 AM

ABUJA: At least 72 fatal cases of Lassa fever have been reported in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, since the beginning of this year, public health authorities said on Thursday.

The 72 deaths were among a total of 411 cases confirmed so far from the outbreak of the viral hemorrhagic fever recorded across 21 states since January, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the latest report of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

Sixty-five per cent of the total confirmed cases were reported from the three states of Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi, while 35 per cent were reported from 18 other states, the NCDC said.

A total of 2, 122 cases have been recorded so far this year, marking a significant decrease from 8, 280 suspected cases recorded in the same period in 2023, said the national disease control agency.

Two health workers have been so far affected by the Lassa fever outbreak in the country, with the predominant age group of victims being 21 years and 30 years of age, the NCDC said in its report.

Lassa fever is a disease spread to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or feces. It is reportedly transmitted when saliva, urine, and excreta of rats come into contact with humans.

In 2023, at least 219 deaths were recorded from 1, 227 confirmed cases of Lassa fever, according to the NCDC.

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