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Nigeria, 24 dead of Lassa fever

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — At least 24 people have died in five Nigerian states since the latest outbreak of Lassa fever at the start of the new year.

Over 100 patients have been quarantined at designated treatment centers across the country after being infected by a rodent urine virus disease.

In a statement on its website, the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said today that the highest number of fatalities has been registered in the southwestern state of Ondo with 16 deaths. Another 84 cases were reported.

The state health commissioner, Salihu Kwaya-Bura, said that in the northeastern state of Borno, 4 cases were registered and one of them died.

Two doctors and a pregnant woman have died from the outbreak of the disease in northwestern Kano state, said State Commissioner for Health Aminu Tsanyawa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies Lassa fever as an acute viral haemorrhagic disease caused by the Lassa virus, an arenavirus that occurs by contaminating foods from infected rodent urine.

Contact with the infected person can spread the disease and may be more severe, medical experts have warned.

Lassa fever is endemic in many African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Togo and possibly even northern Cameroon.

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