According to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease (NCDC), a total of 101 people in Nigeria have died from the growing Lassa fever outbreak.
From the statistics, reported cases of the haemorrhagic disease — both confirmed and suspected — stood at 175 with a total of 101 deaths since August.
The outbreak, which was announced in January, months after the first case of the disease happened in August has led to deaths in in the nation’s political capital, Abuja, Lagos, and 14 other states, said the NCDC.
The number of Lassa fever infections in West Africa every year is between 100,000 to 300,000, with about 5,000 deaths, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lassa fever belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two deadly viruses that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and, in worse case scenarios, haemorrhagic bleeding.
The virus got its name from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969.
Lassa fever is spread through contact with food or household items contaminated with rats’ urine or faeces or after coming in direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
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