Schools were shut across Nigeria's southeastern Ebonyi state yesterday to stop the spread of lassa fever which has killed three persons including two doctors in the past few days. Prof. John Eke, education commissioner in Ebonyi, told a news briefing that all schools would remain shut for the next seven days while authorities battle to prevent the spread of the communicable disease. The decision comes a day after a woman whose children attend school tested positive for the virus, said Eke.
Named after a Nigerian village where the virus was first discovered in 1969, Lassa fever is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever. The source of the virus is traced to some rats. Experts say symptoms may include fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains and bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract. The disease killed at least 101 people in Nigeria in 2016 and 80 in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control.