>> Nigeria's battling an outbreak of deadly Lassa fever. It's killed at least 110 people so far this year. Symptoms include fever and headaches and it often proves fatal. Lassa is mainly transmitted to humans by a contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or excrements. But it can also be passed between people through the bodily fluids of those infected.
In southern Edo states, local authorities and the World Health Organization are trying to prevent the virus from spreading by raising awareness with locals.>> We're finding that if we are able to take these messages to the grass roots, we'll be able to interrupt this outbreak. And so every community leader is here now.
Every time is here, we expect every time to go back to each settlement, each community, to take this message back.>> Cooking foods thoroughly can help prevent infection. Keeping cats helps control the infected rodents. But while healthcare workers are being trained in control measures, they're overstretched. According to the WHO, a number of medics in Nigeria have become infected and some have died.
>> They've only had local, they need more training. Mostly for the domestic staff that dispose the waste. They need training so that they will know what they are dealing with. So they don't go and infect their own community and their family.>> Over 350 confirmed cases of lassa fever have been identified in Nigeria.
The disease is also being seen in many other western African countries including Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.