Nigeria suffers another Lassa fever outbreak; over 593 people under watch

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed as of last week Tuesday, January 22, 2019,16 deaths from 60 cases of Lassa fever even as 590 out of 593 contacts are currently under watch in eight states of the federation. The affected states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, and FCT.

NCDC’s Director General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said the case fatality rate in confirmed cases is 26.7 percent.

Ihekweazu said recent epidemiological data shows that Lassa fever outbreak and this trend usually occurs during the dry season, between January and April. He said the Lassa fever national multi-partner, multi-agency Technical Working Group [TWG] continues to coordinate response activities at all levels. NCDC’s report on Lassa fever indicates that while 46 patients are currently being managed, there are 20 patients at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) Treatment Centre, 18 at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, 3 in Bauchi and 5 in Ebonyi States.

The NCDC boss said an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated to coordinate the response. The national EOC comprises of representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, US Centre for Disease Control and other partners. He said Nigeria now has four laboratories where Lassa fever can quickly be diagnosed.

He also advised that this may not the best season to serve and drink garri that is soaked in water as a meal.

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