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Lassa fever outbreak strikes Nigeria taking 72 lives

XINHUANET | Http://Www.Xinhuanet.Com/English/2018-03/01/C_137008132.Htm | Updated: 01-03-2018 13:11 IST | Created: 01-03-2018 10:30 IST
Lassa fever outbreak strikes Nigeria taking 72 lives

According to the latest report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria's Lassa fever outbreak has reached record highs, resulting in 72 deaths and 317 laboratory-confirmed cases.

Lassa fever, also well-known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms. When symptoms occur they typically include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pains.

The outbreak has affected 18 states since the first case was detected on 1 January 2018. A total of 2,845 people who have come into contact with patients have been identified and are being monitored. The number of cases confirmed by the NCDC as of Feb. 25 crossed the total number of cases in 2017.Three southern states, Edo, Ondo, and Ebonyi, have been the most affected, reporting 85 percent of the cases, WHO said, quoting the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

The NCDC with the support of WHO is running its Emergency Operations Center at the highest possible level, mainly focusing all available resources on controlling the outbreak. WHO is working with health authorities, national reference hospitals and the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) to rapidly expand treatment centers and provide them with the latest types of equipment.

Rapid detection of infection and early treatment improve patients' chances of survival, told Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO representative to Nigeria.

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