Nigeria reports record high Lassa fever cases with 317

LAGOS, Nigeria — Health authorities say a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has reached a record high and there are suspected cases in neighboring Benin as well.

Nigeria has reported 317 confirmed cases in two months, more than the total for all of last year. The World Health Organization says there are 20 suspected cases across the border in Benin.

Nigeria has reported 72 deaths so far.

There is no vaccine for the hemorrhagic fever, which is transmitted through the bodily fluids of sick people. Humans also can contract the disease by coming into contact with food contaminated by rat excrement.

Those with the disease initially present with high fever but in extreme cases can later suffer bleeding from the nose and mouth.

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