More than 100 people have been killed by Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, as West Africa battles to contain an outbreak of the virus, according to data from Nigeria’s health authorities.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) statistics released on Saturday show that reported cases of the acute haemorrhagic disease – both confirmed and suspected – stood at 175 with a total of 101 deaths since August.
“As at today, 19 (including Abuja) states are currently following up contacts, or have suspected cases with laboratory results pending or laboratory confirmed cases,” the NCDC said in a statement.
“Deaths from the virus were recorded in the nation’s political capital, Abuja, Lagos, and 14 other states,” the NCDC said.
Officials said they have distributed large quantities of drugs, including Ribavirin tablets, and bottles of hand sanitisers across the country to tackle the disease.
The NCDC said that logistics support and delayed reporting of cases by states were hampering the fight against the viral fever.
The outbreak was only announced in January – months after the first case occurred in August – with subsequent deaths reported in 10 states, including Abuja.
Last year, 12 people died in Nigeria out of 375 infected, while in 2012 there were 1,723 cases and 112 deaths, according to the NCDC.