Lassa fever death toll in Nigeria hits 86

The death toll of Lassa fever in Nigeria this year has risen to 86 amid government measures to reduce infections, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

The disease control agency has said in a statement on Saturday that 21 additional deaths and 91 new infections were recorded in the country on February 14-21, Xinhua news agency reported.

The case fatality rate in the country, so far, this year has reached 19.1 per cent, which is lower than the 27.5 per cent recorded for the same period in 2021, the NCDC said.

Lassa fever is usually transmitted when the saliva, urine, and excreta of the multi-mammalian rats come into contact with humans. Human-to-human transmission is rare but can occur through contact with the body fluids of an infected person.

In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms to malaria, appearing between one and three weeks after exposure to the virus. In mild cases, the disease causes fever, fatigue, weakness, and headache.

The NCDC said it remained committed to supporting state public health teams to achieve the goal of reducing the Lassa fever case fatality rate to a single digit.

The 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.

On January 26, 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.

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