NCDC declares Lassa fever eruption after confirming 60 cases
FOLLOWING series of reported and confirmed cases of Lassa fever in various states in the country, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) concludes that there is an eruption of Lassa fever in Nigeria.
The situation report published by the NCDC showed that up to 172 suspected cases of Lassa fever were reported within the period of January 1 to January 13 this year. Out of the 172 reported cases, 60 were confirmed positive while 112 were found not be cases of Lassa fever.
From the confirmed 60 cases, 16 deaths have been recorded. This equals to 26.7% case fatality rate of Lassa fever so far in the year 2019. The affected states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba and FCT, recording at least one death.
It is on this note that the NCDC has announced that there is an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, not failing to however mention the measures they have taken to put a handle on the situation.
Through Chikwe Ihekweazu its Chief Executive Officer in Abuja, NCDC said that part of its response has been assisting states by providing emergency supplies and deployment of Rapid Response Teams to the affected states.
NCDC has also made available the national guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control, as well as Lassa fever case management which it developed to states, apart from uploading it on their website for public use.
According to Ihekweazu, ‘’the Rapid Response Teams will handle response coordination, contact tracing, case management, risk communication and boost infection prevention and control practices, in collaboration with the states’’.
He also reeled out some important information to health workers which are: be cautious of the fact that Lassa fever can be mistaken for any other fever-inducing illness at its early stage; maintain a high index of suspicion and practice standard precaution at all times; run a Rapid Diagnostic Test on all suspected cases of malaria, then check for other causes of febrile illness including Lassa fever if negative; accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment will increase the chances of survival.