Emergency action in Nigeria over deadly Lassa fever

Nigeria has set up an emergency response centre to deal with outbreaks of the deadly Lassa fever in parts of the country.

This follows a rising number of cases in the last three weeks, with about 115 infections and 26 deaths having been been confirmed.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said activating the centre was necessary to contain the spread of the disease.

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness, often transmitted to human beings via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

Symptoms include fever, general weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea, headaches and coughs.

The disease was first discovered in 1969 in the town of Lassa in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Borno. Outbreaks are common in the country.

It has become endemic in West Africa, causing up to 5,000 deaths each year.

Source: bbc

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