Death Toll from Outbreak of Lassa Fever Jumps to 70 in Nigeria

NCDC Said Suspected Cases Shot Up to 1708

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Nigeria’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the death toll from an outbreak of Lassa fever has risen to 70.

The agency said the latest eight deaths from the disease were reported in Ondo, Delta and Kaduna states.

In an update released on Thursday, NCDC said the number of suspected cases shot up from 700 in mid-January to 1,708. Confirmed cases also rose to 472.

The fever has an incubation period of between six and twenty-one days. NCDC said the symptoms of the fever include headaches, mouth ulcers, muscle aches, haemorrhaging under the skin and heart and kidney failure.

The disease is spread to humans through food or household items contaminated with rodent excrements.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the antiviral drug ribavirin appears to be an effective treatment for Lassa fever.