The death toll in Nigeria from an outbreak of Lassa fever has risen to 70, authorities said Thursday.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said in its week that more deaths from Lassa fever were reported in three states.
“Four new healthcare workers were affected in Ondo, Delta and Kaduna states,” the NCDC said in the update.
It said the number of suspected cases has “increased significantly” compared to the situation in mid-January, from over 700 to 1,708.
Confirmed cases have also shot up to 472, it said.
What is Lassa Fever?
It is a disease spread to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or feces.
More symptoms include high fever, headache, mouth ulcers, muscle aches, hemorrhaging under the skin and heart and kidney failure.
Lassa fever, the familiar and preventive disease which occurs mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria, has continued to resurge annually.
Experts have blamed rising cases on governments’ long-term inaction and poor political will to tackle it, saying the masses would be better off taking measures to prevent the ailment.
According to the Nigeria Academy of Science (NAS), since the first case of the disease was reported in Nigeria 50 years ago, a total of 16,783 suspected cases have been reported with 1,047 deaths.
Of the fatal cases, it is disheartening to know that 73 healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and other categories of hospital staff have died from the disease.
In 2018, Lassa fever cases from 23 states were 3,498 suspected, 633 confirmed, 20 probable and 2,853 negative with 171 deaths.
While in 2019, the recorded cases from 23 states were 5,057 suspected, 833 confirmed, 19 probable, 4,205 negative, and 174 deaths.
Death toll from Coronavirus jumps to 1,300
Death toll from Coronavirus jumped dramatically in China’s Hubei province on Thursday under a new method for diagnosing cases.
Health experts warned the epidemic could get worse before it gets better.
Health officials in Hubei province said 242 people had died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday.
It brings the total number of deaths in the province to 1,310.
The previous record rise in the toll was 103 on February 10.