In Nigeria, the Lassa fever epidemic began: in less than a month, the disease has spread to 26 states. To date, it has already infected 472 people, and another 1708 patients have not officially confirmed the disease, The Guardian writes, citing the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Nigeria is the most populous country in West Africa, with over 200 million people living there. It has all five laboratories well equipped to diagnose Lassa fever.
Lassa fever is an acute infectious disease that is transmitted through food, water, and household items. The disease is transmitted from person to person through contact with bodily fluids – its incubation period is from 6 to 21 days.
Sick people experience symptoms close to influenza – fever, headache, muscle pain. At the same time, patients have lesions of the central nervous system, ulcers in the mouth, subcutaneous hemorrhages, heart, and kidney failure.
The fever was first recorded in 1969 in the city of Lassa in northern Nigeria. According to WHO, there is an effective cure for the disease – ribavirin. However, how many people in Nigeria got it is unknown. Fatal cases are also not reported.