By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Nigerian health officials reported 28 confirmed Lassa fever cases during the week ending March 22, a decrease from 51 confirmed cases the week prior.

Image/Robert Herriman

This brings the country’s confirmed Lassa fever total to 932. During the same period in 2019, 510 confirmed cases were reported.

With the addition of three deaths from confirmed cases, the death toll in 2020 has risen to 176.

In total for 2020, 27 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 Local Government Areas.

The number of suspected cases has significantly increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2019–4012 vs 1924.

Lassa fever is spread primarily by rats. Rats that carry the Lassa fever virus live in homes and areas where food is stored. People usually become ill with Lassa fever after direct contact with rat droppings or urine and through touching objects or eating food contaminated with rat droppings or urine.

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Lassa fever may also spread when a person comes into contact with an infected person’s blood, tissue, or body fluids, especially when that person is seriously ill.