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New deaths reported in Nigeria virus outbreak
 LAGOS, Nigeria
Two new deaths have been reported from an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria. 

The fatalities bring to 67 the number of deaths so far reported in this latest outbreak which has been ongoing since August 2015. 

The health ministry says the disease has been reported in 18 of Nigeria's 36 states. 

One death was recorded in southwestern Lagos state and north-central Nasarawa, officials said on Wednesday. 

Lagos health commissioner Jide Idris told a news briefing that the latest deaths happened on Jan. 23 involving a 27-year-old female who the official said came down with the ailment after she returned from a visit to southern Edo state. 

Lassa fever is described by the World Health Organization as an “acute viral hemorrhagic illness” which can be passed to people via infected food or from household items contaminated with rodent droppings. 

"Out of that case alone, 90 persons have so far been listed as contacts as of Jan. 26, 2016, while contact tracing is currently ongoing," Idris said. 

Of 20 suspected cases in Lagos, 14 have tested negative, four positive, while laboratory results are awaited on the remainder. A total of 534 people who have had contact with the infected cases are being monitored. 

In Nasarawa, an official confirmed that a male nurse who attended the state's index case has succumbed to the disease.

"This brings the death figure to two in Nasarawa. Over a 100 persons are being watched," Ibrahim Adamu, an official in the state's health ministry, told Anadolu Agency. 
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