Worry grows of scale of Lassa fever outbreak being under-reported

Fears of the scale of Nigeria’s Lassa fever outbreak being under-reported seem to be growing. This is despite assurances by the authorities that the outbreak has been brought under control. The death toll in the outbreak currently stands at 101 people according to the country’s health authorities. Statistics from Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control also show that reported cases of the haemorrhagic disease stand at 175 since August. The recorded deaths come from the capital Abuja, Lagos and 14 other states. In neighbouring Benin at least nine people have died in an outbreak of the virus, with a total of 20 suspected cases reported. The number of Lassa fever infections in West Africa every year is between 100-thousand to 300 thousand, with about 5 000 deaths.

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