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We need to be worried over Nigeria Lassa Fever outbreak – health minister

Jan 21, 2016 Nigeria’s health ministry recently called an emergency meeting over the Lassa fever outbreak across the country.

Speaking to official at an emergency meeting of the Nigerian health ministry, Health Minister, Isaac Adewole said:

“When you have evidences of person to person transmission we need to be worried. When you have health care professionals affected as you have in Rivers state, queried Lagos state, queried FCT (Federal Capital Territory), then we should be worried and this is why this meeting is important,”

Named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred, the virus is animal borne.

Health officials say it is carried by “multimammate rats,” a family of rodents common to the region.

According to Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control, the number of infections per year in West Africa is estimated at 100,000 to 300,000 with approximately 5,000 deaths.

The centre’s director, Abdulsalami Nasidi, told the meeting that decisive steps needed to be taken to wipe out the virus.

“What will happen if we don’t do what we are supposed to do? As you can see the cases could beat that of 2012 by about three times so we could get up to 3,000 cases and then maybe about — you know — how many deaths there? 1,000 deaths. This is what we must all rise together to prevent and we must not allow this to happen,”

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