WHO Working to Contain Outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria

The World Health Organization is working to contain an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria. The outbreak has spread to 17 states in Nigeria and is responsible for infecting up to 450 people. WHO Nigeria deployed staff to support government agencies. WHO representatives are joining rapid response teams to the outbreak hot spots in the southern states of Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi.

Between January 1 and February 4, almost 450 suspected cases of Lassa fever were reported. 132 of those cases were confirmed as Lassa fever through laboratory tests. Of the cases, 43 deaths were reported, with 37 of those deaths laboratory confirmed as Lassa fever. Among the infected are 11 health workers, four of whom have died. Lassa fever is an acute hemorrhagic fever endemic to Nigeria as well as other West African countries. Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone have also recently reported cases, so health officials are working to strengthen cooperation and coordination across country borders.

Read more about the Lassa fever outbreak here.