By Victoria Ojeme
The government also said all 397 cases reported so far across the country would be treated at no cost to patients.
Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja, said six of the dead were health workers, including two doctors and four nurses.
He said other cases had been reported in 12 states, namely Edo, Nasarawa, Plateau, Ebonyi, Taraba, Yobe, Ondo, Rivers, Gombe, Anambra, Delta and Lagos.
Of the 397 cases reported, the Minister said only 87 had been positively confirmed by medical officials.
He said adequate quantities of Ribavirin injections and tablets, the specific antiviral drug for Lassa fever, had been released to the affected states.
He also said the Ministry had deployed rapid response teams to all affected states, adding that there was great emphasis on routine barrier nursing precautions.
He said: “Nigeria has the capability to diagnose Lassa fever and all the cases reported so far were confirmed by our laboratories.
“No travel restriction will be imposed in the affected areas but hotlines have been provided for health workers for expert advice. The numbers are: 08037154575, 08023214998, 08037879701 and 08023047101.”
In his remarks, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate, said the Ministry had also distributed over 750,000 doses of Ribavirin injections and tablets as well as safety gloves and protective vests for health workers.