Following the suspected outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, about forty people have reportedly died in 10 states across the country, Health Minister Isaac Adewole said on Friday, January 8, 2016.
Speaking in a news conference in Abuja, Adewole said: “The total number (of suspected cases) reported is 86 and 40 deaths, with a mortality rate of 43.2 percent.”
The minister said that so far, laboratory tests have confirmed that 22 of the 86 suspected cases were Lassa fever and results were expected on the remainder.
Seven of the affected states are in the north — Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Plateau and Gombe — while the remaining three are in the south — Rivers, Edo and Oyo — he added.
The first case of the disease was recorded last November in Bauchi state. Cases were then reported in Kano and elsewhere.
Adewole said recorded cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria peaked in 2012 at 1,723 with 112 fatalities but rates have declined since then.