ABUJA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian health authorities on Sunday said the most populous African country has registered 105 new confirmed cases of Lassa fever out of 369 suspected cases recorded across the country on Jan. 2-15.
So far, the acute viral hemorrhagic illness cases have been found in 30 Nigerian local areas across 10 states, Ifedayo Adetifa, head of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, told reporters here, identifying the two southern states of Edo and Ondo, as well as the northeastern state of Bauchi, as the worst hit.
The Lassa fever cases from the three states account for 84 percent of the total number of infections in the country, but no death has been reported, said the official.
According to the World Health Organization, Lassa fever is caused by the Lassa virus. Humans usually contract with the virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated by urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.
In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms to malaria, appearing between one and three weeks after exposure to the virus. In mild cases, the disease causes fever, fatigue, weakness, and headache.
The death toll of Lassa fever in Nigeria reached over 170 from nearly 1,000 cases last year till November, amid intensified measures by the government to reduce infections. ■