LAGOS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has risen to 30 by Saturday night since January 2018, according to official figures.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said laboratory tests had confirmed a total of 36 cases of Lassa fever in its latest outbreak in southwest Ondo State, including nine deaths in the state.
Last week, Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control Chikwe Ihekweazu told a news conference that Lassa fever claimed a total of 21 lives in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.
The governor said the government had reactivated Emergency Preparedness and Response Team at state and local government level to contain the spread of the disease.
He said this was in addition to active surveillance and contact tracing in the affected local government areas.
According to him, vehicles have been dedicated for transportation of samples and patients to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
Lassa fever is a viral infection caused by the Lassa fever virus and the disease occurs all year round but more cases are recorded during the dry season.
It is spread through direct contact with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats, eating food or drinking contaminated water.
The disease can be prevented through enhanced personal hygiene, avoidance of all contact with rats (dead or alive) and keeping the house and surrounding clean.