January 8, 2016 6:14 am

Health minister urges Nigerians not to panic over an outbreak of Lassa fever

A photo taken on October 9, 2015 in Calabar shows the emergency entrance of the Univeristy of Calabar Teaching Hospital, where ten people were quarantined as a precaution after a man being a suspected Ebola case died.


WARRI, Nigeria – Nigeria’s health minister is urging Nigerians not to panic over an outbreak of Lassa fever that has killed 35 people in seven states since November.

Dr. Isaac Adewole says the government has taken adequate measures to contain the outbreak, with 14 lab-confirmed cases among 76 suspected ones.

Lassa, named after a Nigerian town where the acute viral hemorrhagic fever first was identified in 1969, has the same symptoms as Ebola and also requires that health workers wear protective gear and patients be isolated. Only about 1 per cent of patients die. The disease is carried by rats and mostly affects rural communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions. It is only found in West Africa.

A statement published Friday says Adewole “appeals to members of the public to be calm.”

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