NCDC warns of high risk of Lassa fever transmission

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that the country is at a very high risk of increased Lassa fever transmission.

NCDC disclosed this in a statement released on Monday, January 30.

The Centre said it has activated the national multisectoral emergency operations centre for Lassa fever (LF-EOC) at level 2 to coordinate and strengthen ongoing response activities in the country.

It emphasized that the operations centre was activated following a risk assessment carried out by its experts and relevant stakeholders on January 20.

According to the NCDC, “The outcome of the risk assessment placed the country at a very high risk of increased Lassa fever transmission due to an unprecedented upward trend in the number of confirmed cases being reported compared to previous years, increased number of states reporting cases in comparison to previous years and increased risk of healthcare worker infections and deaths due to Lassa fever infection.”

The agency stressed that Lassa fever has infected five health workers and accounted for the death of one.

“Infection and death among the healthcare workers accounted for 5 and 1 of the confirmed cases and deaths respectively, highlighting the need for an increased index of suspicion among healthcare workers.”




     

     

    The NCDC said the emergency operations centre activation was aimed at achieving a coordinated national response and mitigating suffering and death due to the disease.

    “Ahead of the projected rise of Lassa fever cases and as the country began to witness a rise in cases in the last week on November 2022, the NCDC prepositioned supplies for case management, infection prevention and control, laboratory diagnosis, etc. in all historical Lassa fever hotspots in the country.

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    “This was complemented by correspondence sent to the Honourable Commissioners of Health, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, State Ministries of Health, and respective professional bodies of healthcare workers to alert and sensitize them on the situation as well as to advocate for in-State activities to respond to Lassa fever,” the NCDC added.

    The ICIR earlier reported that Edo State has recorded 13 deaths and 115 cases of Lassa fever.

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