By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Nigeria health officials reported an additional 109 confirmed Lassa fever cases and eight deaths during the last week.

This brings the total confirmed cases and deaths during the first six weeks of 2020 to 472 and 70, respectively.

Of all confirmed cases, 74% are from Edo (35%), Ondo (33%) and Ebonyi (6%) states.

Additionally, four new Health Care Workers were affected in Ondo, Delta and Kaduna states that week.

The situation in Nigeria has prompted the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to call on the Nigerian government to officially declare a public health emergency.

Lassa fever is a viral illness that occurs in West Africa. It is spread through contact with infected rodents or their droppings, or through close contact with a person who is sick with Lassa fever. It usually causes mild symptoms, including slight fever, weakness, and headache. However, in some people it can cause more serious symptoms, like bleeding in the gums, eyes, or nose; difficulty breathing; repeated vomiting; facial swelling; pain in the chest, back, and abdomen; shock; and even death.

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