Lassa fever kills 10 in Nigeria


Lassa fever has killed at least 10 people in Nigeria's southeastern state of Ebonyi since the beginning of the year, Xinhua reports citing health authorities.

The outbreak has prompted urgent collaborative efforts by the government and relevant partners to stem the spread of the highly infectious disease, Sampson Orogwu, a disease surveillance officer at the Ebonyi State Ministry of Health, said in a statement.

Orogwu said the dead victims include a pregnant woman and two children. "At least 25 people were infected, including two healthcare workers... From Jan. 4 to Feb. 16."

Ogbonna Nwambeke, the state's chief epidemiologist, called for the provision of logistics to increase surveillance of risk factors and advised an end to bush burning and eating of rats or touching any surface touched by an infected person to prevent the spread of the disease.

Lassa fever is a disease spread to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or feces. It is reportedly transmitted when saliva, urine, and excreta of rats come into contact with humans.

In 2023, at least 219 deaths were recorded from 1,227 confirmed cases of Lassa fever, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.