Lassa fever deaths rise to 110 in Nigeria: official

accreditation
(iStock)
(iStock)

Lagos - Lassa fever has claimed 110 lives in Nigeria since the beginning of the year, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Tuesday, in one of the worst outbreaks since 2016.

The World Heath Organisation last week said the epidemic had reached record highs with 317 laboratory confirmed cases and 72 people dead.

"Since the onset of the 2018 outbreak, there have been 110 deaths: 78 in positive-confirmed cases, 8 in probable cases and 24 in negative cases," the NCDC said in its latest report.

A total of 1 121 suspected cases were reported, "353 are confirmed positive, 8 are probable, 723 are negative (not a case) and 37 are awaiting laboratory results."

The NCDC said cases have been reported in 18 of Nigeria's 36 states while 16 health workers had been affected in six states.

Health Minister Isaac Adewole told local media on Tuesday that the government would soon take delivery of vaccines to tame the virus.

"We are doing everything possible to fight and address the outbreak of lassa fever on all fronts," he said.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Lassa fever belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two deadly viruses that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and in worst-case scenarios, haemorrhagic bleeding.

The name comes from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969.

More than 100 people were killed in 2016 in one of the nation's worst outbreaks of the disease, affecting 14 of the 36 states, including Lagos and the capital Abuja.

The virus is spread through contact with food or household items contaminated with rats' urine or faeces or after coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 983 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 439 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 4533 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.35
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.81
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.08
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.76
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,764.62
0.0%
Silver
25.81
0.0%
Palladium
2,467.49
0.0%
Platinum
1,038.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
73.51
+0.6%
Top 40
59,504
-1.5%
All Share
65,635
-1.4%
Resource 10
60,958
-1.7%
Industrial 25
87,956
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-2.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo