A screenshot of a Channels TV news report is being shared on WhatsApp in Nigeria, with the claim that it shows the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country – 472 in total.
Channels TV is an independent Nigerian TV channel. The screenshot shows “472 confirmed cases” across the top of the TV screen, then lists some Nigerian states, with numbers in brackets, such as “Edo (167), Bauchi (14)” and “Ondo (156)”. The data is attributed to “WHO”, the World Health Organization.
Lassa fever numbers
It has discounted the “TV screen image circulating”, tweeting that it is “currently managing a national Lassa fever outbreak”.
Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever. People get it from contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Nigeria has had several Lassa fever outbreaks since 2007.
As of 15 March 2020, Nigeria had had 906 confirmed cases of Lassa fever since the start of the year and 161 deaths. So far, 27 out of 36 states have confirmed at least one case of the disease. – Motunrayo Joel
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