Scores die from Lassa fever scourge in Nigeria
Following outbreak of Lassa fever last year in parts of Nigeria’s Edo State and its spread to other states, health authorities have said at least 57 people have died from the deadly epidemic across Nigeria in the last month.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 275 cases have been confirmed out of nearly 800 reported in 19 states.
Southern Edo and Ondo states have been the worst hit in the last two weeks with over 40 cases reported.
At least nine healthcare workers have also been affected in four states.
Since the onset of the latest outbreak, the fatality rate has continued to rise, according to the NCDC.
The acute and often fatal viral disease is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
It is endemic in parts of West Africa and has an incubation period of between two and 21 days.
The World Health Organization says the onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and after a few days, headache, vomiting and diarrhoea may follow alongside coughing, abdominal pain and nausea.