By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 85 additional confirmed Lassa fever cases during the past week, bringing the total for 2020 to date to 775.
Eleven additional deaths were reported among confirmed cases. The death toll from Lassa fever over the first nine weeks of the year now stands at 132 (17 percent CFR).
The 85 new cases were reported from nine states (Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Taraba and Kebbi).
One new health care worker was affected in Edo state.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. It is transmitted to humans from contacts with food or household items contaminated with rodent excreta. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.
Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in the hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures. Diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential.
The symptoms of Lassa fever typically occur 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. These include fever, retrosternal pain (pain behind the chest wall), sore throat, back pain, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, facial swelling, proteinuria (protein in the urine), and mucosal bleeding. Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis.
There is no vaccine currently available for Lassa fever.
The Lassa virus and was 1st described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria.