The number of people killed in a suspected outbreak of Lassa fever in 10 Nigerian states has risen to 40, Health Minister Isaac Adewole said, the AP reports.
“The total number of suspected cases reported is 86 and 40 deaths, with a mortality rate of 43.2%,” Mr Adewole told reporters in the capital, Abuja.
Twenty-two of the 86 suspected cases have been confirmed as Lassa fever by laboratory tests and results were expected on the remainder, he added. Cases have been reported from states in the north and south – including the most populous, Kano, and the oil-rich Rivers state, officials said.
Lassa fever is transmitted to humans from rodents that harbour the virus.