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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Lassa fever kills 4 in NE Nigeria

ABUJA, (Xinhua) -- Four people have been confirmed dead due to the latest spread of Lassa fever, a disease transmitted by rodents, in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Bauchi, local officials said on Friday.

Five cases of the disease were recorded in the state since late January, Halima Muqaddas, Bauchi State commissioner for health told Xinhua on Friday.

Muqaddas said the Lassa fever cases were recorded in three districts, including the state capital, Bauchi.

According to her, one of the patients had shown good signs of recovery, having received treatment at a designated health facility.

The official attributed the resurgence of the disease to the “non-adherence to maintaining personal and environmental hygiene” by locals.

The Nigerian state has directed all health facilities to treat all suspected cases with utmost caution to fast-track diagnosis of the disease.

Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic illness of two to 21 days duration, is usually transmitted to humans when they are exposed to food or water contaminated by the saliva and excreta of infected rats. In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms with malaria.

Altogether, about a dozen people have died due to the spread of Lassa fever in the West African country since November.

More than 80 people were killed by a Lassa fever outbreak early last year in Nigeria. 

 

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