Lassa Fever: Edo, Ondo Record New Deaths As Nigeria’s Toll Hits 151

A file photo of an NCDC official and two others on duty.

 

Edo and Ondo States have recorded new deaths from Lassa fever as Nigeria’s toll from the disease, since the beginning of 2022, rises to 151.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest situation report on the outbreak of the disease in the country.

Data from the report for Week 18, which covered May 2 to 8, revealed that two more deaths were reported in the week under review.

“In week 18, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 8 in week 17, 2022 to 3 cases,” the NCDC said. “These were reported from Edo, Ondo and Benue States.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 18, 2022, 151 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 19.8 per cent which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (20.6 per cent).”

 

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever first reported in the Lassa community in Borno State when two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness.

Since then, Nigeria has continued to report cases and outbreaks and the disease is increasingly recognised to be endemic in many parts of West Africa such as Benin Republic, Ghana, Mali and the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea).

The new death each reported in the two states brings the toll in Ondo and Edo to 38 and 27 respectively. While both states recorded the most fatalities in 2022, Ebonyi is the third state with the highest death toll – 18.

Apart from these states, only 13 others have recorded at least one death from Lassa fever. They include Taraba – 14, Bauchi – 12, Benue and Gombe – eight, Kogi – seven, Nasarawa – six, Oyo – four, Kaduna – three, Enugu – two, as well as Anambra, Cross River, Kano, and Katsina – one.

 

According to the NCDC, a total of 72 new cases were suspected in 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but just three cases were confirmed in three states – Edo, Ondo, and Benue, and no new healthcare worker was affected.

“In total for 2022, 23 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 95 Local Government Areas,” it added. “Of all confirmed cases, 68 per cent are from Ondo (28 per cent), Edo (25 per cent),  and Bauchi (15 per cent) States.

“The predominant age group affected is 21 – 30 years (range: <1 to 90 years, Median Age: 30 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Three Confirmed Dead As Lassa Fever Outbreak Hits Kogi Community

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

The Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State has been hit by Lassa fever with three patients reportedly dead.

Also no fewer than 20 patients are currently being treated at the Iruah Teaching Hospital in neighbouring Edo State.

The situation has reportedly caused panic in the local government area where there is no functional hospital to take care of the disease resulting in their transfer to Iruah.

READ ALSO: Fire Guts Section Of CBN Office In Makurdi

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Abu Okikiri, said, “As of today, the cases of Lassa fever recorded for Ibaji LGA currently in care at Iruah Specialist Teaching Hospital are just three. However, it is an outbreak.”

A source from the local government area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the number of people affected who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital was more than the figure the governor’s adviser disclosed.

A former Chairman, Ibaji Local Government Council, David Ogwu, and one-time member, Kogi State House of Assembly, said, “It is real that there is an incidence of Lassa fever in Aya and neighbouring communities in Ibaji Local Government of Kogi State.

“The first incident is that about four persons fell ill and died mysteriously without anybody diagnosing the disease or cause of death. After that, others who manifested similar symptoms were taken to Iruah Specialist Hospital, in Edo State.

He said about nine persons had been diagnosed with the disease in Iruah.

Lassa Fever Toll Hits 127 As Nigeria Records Four New Deaths

Lassa Fever, Ogun, Disease
File photo.

 

Nigeria’s death toll from Lassa fever has risen to 127 after four more infected patients lost the battle to the disease.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest situation report on the management of the outbreak of the disease in the country.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 12, 2022, 127 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (21.3%),” said the agency in the report covering March 21 to 27.

The Lassa virus is transmitted by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

It is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever contracted by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

 

READ ALSO: Lassa Fever Has Claimed More Lives This Year Than In 2021 – Report

Data from the report shows that 224 suspected cases were logged from 14 local government areas across seven states in the reporting week, but only 22 of them were confirmed.

As a result, Nigeria has confirmed a total of 681 infections out of the 3,542 suspected cases reported from 92 local government areas across 23 states, since the beginning of the year.

“In total for 2022, 23 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 92 Local Government Areas,” the report revealed. “Of all confirmed cases, 67% are from Ondo (28%), Edo (24%) and Bauchi (15%) States.

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 80 years, Median Age: 30 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”

 

While there was no new healthcare worker reported to have been infected in reporting week 12, the agency said it has activated the national Lassa fever multi-partner and multi-sectoral Emergency Coordination Centre (EOC) to coordinate response activities at all levels.

It added that alert letters have been sent to states, in addition to carrying out preparedness assessments for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to the agency, the Lassa fever molecular laboratories in its network have increased to eight and are working at full capacity to ensure all samples are tested, and results are provided within the shortest turnaround time.

It said confirmed cases were treated at identified treatment centres across the states while risk communications and community engagement activities have been scaled up using television, radio, print, social media and other strategies.

Lassa Fever Has Claimed More Lives This Year Than In 2021 – Report

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo

 

Lassa fever, one of the most deadly diseases in Nigeria, has continued to kill more people in various parts of the country.

Although authorities say they have continued to monitor the disease outbreak, it appears more needs to be done to adequately contain its spread. The focus has been curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the world to its knees in 2020.

Analysis conducted by Channels Television indicated that the number of people killed by the disease by mid-March has surpassed the death toll recorded in the whole of 2021.

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever first reported in the Lassa community in Borno State when two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

READ ALSO: NCDC Alerts States As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 102

 

Since that time, the country has continued to report cases and outbreaks, even as people contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

As of March 13 – representing about 10 weeks into 2022, 112 people died of Lassa fever. This figure exceeds the 102 infected persons killed by the disease in the whole of the 52 weeks of the previous year.

 

In its situation report on the disease released on Thursday, the NCDC disclosed that one new death was reported in week 10 – covering March 7 to 13. Also in the same week, a total of 257 suspected cases were reported, but only 33 of them came back positive.

The new infections were reported from 22 local government areas of nine states namely: Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Kogi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Taraba, Bauchi, and Kebbi.

Cumulatively, in week 10, 630 cases were confirmed so far from the 3,079 infections reported, and 112 people have so far died. At least half of these figures were reported in the 10th week of the year 2021 when 1,211 cases of Lassa fever were reported out of which 191 infections were confirmed with 42 deaths reported.

 

In its latest report, the NCDC said at least one case has been confirmed across 87 local government areas of 23 states in the country so far in 2022. Of all confirmed cases, 70 per cent are from Ondo (30 per cent), Edo (24 per cent), and Bauchi (16 per cent). It is, however, unclear if the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has any positive infection.

The predominant age group affected is 21-30 years (Range:1 to 80 years, Median Age: 30 years), while the male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8. According to the agency, no new healthcare worker was affected in reporting week 10.

It added that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral, and Emergency Coordination Centre (EOC) has been activated to coordinate response activities at all levels.

Nigeria Records More Lassa Fever Deaths As Toll Rises To 40

A file photo of an NCDC official and two others on duty.

 

Nigeria’s death toll from Lassa fever has risen to 40 after more infected patients lost the battle to the disease.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its latest situation report on the management of the outbreak of the disease in the country.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 4, 2022, 40 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 19.0% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (22.2%),” it said in the report published on Friday.

Data from the report indicate that six new deaths were recorded in Week 4 covering January 24 to January 30.

The agency added that 229 suspected cases were reported from 16 local government areas across five states last week, but only 42 of them were confirmed.

 

This brings the total number of infections confirmed since the beginning of the year to 211 out of the 981 suspected cases reported from 43 local government areas across 14 states.

“In Week 4, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 74 in week 3, 2022 to 42 cases. These were reported from Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Enugu and Delta States,” it said.

“In total for 2022, 14 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 43 Local Government Areas. Of all confirmed cases, 82 per cent are from Ondo (30 per cent), Edo (27 per cent), and Bauchi (25 per cent) States.

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (Range:1 to 80 years, Median Age: 30 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.8. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.”

READ ALSO: NCDC Reports 35 New COVID-19 Cases In Five States, FCT

While there was no new healthcare worker reported to have been infected in reporting week 4, the NCDC said it has activated the national Lassa fever multi-partner and multi-sectoral Emergency Coordination Centre (EOC) to coordinate response activities at all levels.

It explained that it has also sent Lassa fever alert letters to states, in addition to carrying out preparedness assessment for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

 

According to the agency, the seven Lassa fever molecular laboratories in its network are working full capacity to ensure all samples are tested, and results are provided within the shortest turnaround time.

It said confirmed cases were treated at identified treatment centres across the states while risk communications and community engagement activities have been scaled up using television, radio, print, social media and other strategies.

The NCDC stated specifically that National Rapid Respond Teams (NRRTs) have been deployed to the FCT, as well as Nasarawa, Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Oyo, Taraba, and Benue States.

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

It is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever contracted by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

Lassa Fever: Nigeria Records 32 Deaths, 170 Cases In Three Weeks – Report

A file photo of an NCDC official and two others on duty.

 

At least 32 people have died of Lassa fever since the beginning of the new year, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

In a situation report obtained by Channels Television on Saturday, the agency disclosed that the nation reported a total of new 170 confirmed cases within the period.

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 3, 2022, 32 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.8% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (25.0%),” said the report which is the third to be released by the NCDC this year.

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

[READ ALSO] Lassa Fever: Nigeria Records 11 Deaths, 96 Cases In Two Weeks

 

 

It is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever contracted by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.

The report also indicated that a total of 759 suspected cases of the disease were reported across 37 local government areas of 12 states.

Of the figure, the NCDC said 74 per cent were recorded in three states of Edo (28 per cent), Ondo (28 per cent), and Bauchi (23 per cent).

 

In the third week of the year covering January 17 to 23, the NCDC said 294 suspected cases of Lassa fever were reported across 23 local government areas of nine states.

Seventy-four of the suspected cases were confirmed while 11 new infected patients lost the fight to the disease.

The confirmed cases were reported from Ondo, Bauchi, Edo, Oyo, Ebonyi, Benue, Katsina, Kaduna, and Taraba States, and now new health worker was infected in the course of the week.

“The predominant age-group affected is 21-30 years (Range: 1 to 80 years, Median Age: 30 years),” the report added. “The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1 : 0.9. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021.

“National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels.”

Nigeria Moves To Contain Rising Lassa Fever Cases

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo

 

 

Nigeria has set up an emergency response centre to contain rising cases of Lassa fever after 26 people were killed in the past three weeks, the country’s disease control agency said.

Endemic to Nigeria, Lassa fever belongs to the same family as the Ebola and Marburg viruses, but is much less deadly.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Wednesday it had activated the national Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the outbreak in some parts of the country.

“As of 23rd January 2022, a total of 115 confirmed cases with 26 deaths (a case fatality ratio of 22.6%) have been reported,” the NCDC said.

“These cases were reported from thirty (30) local government areas (LGAs) across eleven (11) states.”

Lassa fever is spread by contact with rat faeces urine or the bodily fluids of an infected person.

Most of those infected do not show symptoms but severe bleeding and organ failure can occur in about a fifth of cases.

Infection numbers in Nigeria typically climb around the start of the year, a phenomenon that is linked to the dry season.

The virus takes its name from the town of Lassa in northern Nigeria, where it was first identified in 1969.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of some 210 million people, is also battling with COVID-19 which has so far infected 252,753 people and claimed 3,134 lives, according to an official tally.

Oyo Govt Calls For Calm Over Reported Cases Of Lassa Fever

A map of Oyo, a state in southwest Nigeria.

 

 

The Oyo State government, on Monday, called on all residents of the state to remain calm over the reported cases of the Lassa Fever in Iwajowa Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, made this known in a statement issued by the ministry and made available to journalists in Ibadan, saying that the state government is doing everything possible to curtail the further spread of the virus.

He added that in response to the development, the government has set up a surveillance system across all the  LGs in the state to abate further transmission of the illness.

According to him, the Ministry of Health had repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the reported cases, adding that personal protective devices had been provided for health care providers at Iwere Ile and Iganna.

He, therefore, enjoined the general public to refer similar cases to the nearest government hospitals for free and quality care, and also call the following numbers: 09058704101,08025245800 and 08073431342.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the Ministry was drawn to reported cases of deaths at Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday, 12th January 2022. The deaths were said to have been associated with fever, gastrointestinal symptoms and some neck swelling.

“This warranted a high-level investigating team led by the Honourable Commissioner for Health to visit the LGA on Thursday, 13th January 2022 to assess the situation and provide the necessary support to abate any further transmission of the illness.

“The team comprised of senior officials of the Ministry, the State Primary Healthcare Board and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“An initial visit to the State General Hospital at Iwere lle revealed the fact that there was an increase in a number of cases brought from the Gaa Agbaruru settlement with confirmation of two (2) deaths at the facility. The team was then led to Gaa Agbaruru, a Fulani settlement in Iwere ward of the LGA, where the victims of the illness came from.

“It was observed that there were cases with symptoms mentioned above but were recuperating. It was also confirmed that there was indeed a high degree of contact between the inhabitants, rodents, and bats. In addition, the challenge of having potable water was noted.

“Blood samples were taken from the recuperating individuals with samples of water also taken. These samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory for Haemorrhagic Fever in Abuja for analysis and confirmation.

“The result of the investigation from the Reference Laboratory was received today, 17th January 2022 with two (2) of the ten (10) samples testing positive for Lassa Fever.

“As such, the Ministry has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the Lassa Fever cases and personal protective devices for the health care providers at Iwere lle and Iganna. Health education and environmental sanitation are presently ongoing in the communities.

“The State Surveillance System has been augmented across all Local Governments in the State.

“Suspected cases are to be referred to the nearest Government Hospital for free and quality care”.

Lassa Fever: Remain Calm, Oyo Govt Tells Residents Amid Reported Cases

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo used to illustrate the story.

 

The Oyo State government has called on all residents of the state to remain calm over the reported cases of the Lassa Fever in the Iwajowa Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, made this known in a statement issued on Monday and made available to journalists in Ibadan, stating that the state government is doing everything possible to curtail the further spread of the virus.

He said that in response to the development, the government has already set up a surveillance system across LGs in the state to prevent further transmission of the illness.

According to him, the Ministry of Health has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the reported cases, adding that personal protective devices had been provided for health care providers at Iwere Ile and Iganna.

READ ALSO: Lassa Fever Kills Medical Doctor In Benue

He enjoined the general public to refer similar cases to the nearest government hospitals for free and quality care, and also call the following numbers: 09058704101,08025245800 and 08073431342.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the Ministry was drawn to reported cases of deaths at Iwajowa Local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday, 12th January 2022. The deaths were said to have been associated with fever, gastrointestinal symptoms and some neck swelling.

“This warranted a high-level investigating team led by the Honourable Commissioner for Health to visit the LGA on Thursday, 13th January 2022 to assess the situation and provide the necessary support to abate any further transmission of the illness.

“The team comprised of senior officials of the Ministry, the State Primary Healthcare Board, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“An initial visit to the State General Hospital at Iwere lle revealed the fact that there was an increase in a number of cases brought from the Gaa Agbaruru settlement with confirmation of two (2) deaths at the facility. The team was then led to Gaa Agbaruru, a Fulani settlement in Iwere ward of the LGA where the victims of the illness came from.

“It was observed that there were cases with symptoms mentioned above but were recuperating. It was also confirmed that there was indeed a high degree of contact between the inhabitants, rodents and bats. In addition, the challenge of having potable water was noted.

“Blood samples were taken from the recuperating individuals with samples of water also taken. These samples were sent to the National Reference Laboratory for Haemorrhagic Fever in Abuja for analysis and confirmation.

“The result of the investigation from the Reference Laboratory was received today, 17th January 2022 with two (2) of the ten (10) samples testing positive for Lassa Fever.

“As such, the Ministry has repositioned doses of antiviral agents for the treatment of the Lassa Fever cases and personal protective devices for the health care providers at Iwere lle and Iganna. Health education and environmental sanitation are presently ongoing in the communities.

“The State Surveillance System has been augmented across all Local Governments in the state. Suspected cases are to be referred to the nearest Government Hospital for free and quality care.”

Lassa Fever Kills Medical Doctor In Benue

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

Lassa fever has killed a medical doctor in Benue State as the government has confirmed four new cases of the disease.

Following the death, the state government has ordered mandatory testing for all medical doctors and health workers involved in the management of Lassa fever cases in the state to help prevent health sector mortality.

The Commissioner for Health and Human Services,  Doctor Joseph Ngbea, disclosed this to Channels Television after a tour to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital where the cases are being handled with a call to keep all residential areas clean.

Giving the background to the containment measures, the commissioner explained that with early preparation and information dissemination coupled with funding from the state governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom,  the ministry was able to respond timely with medical supplies and manpower.

Nigeria Confirms 48 Lassa Fever Cases In One Week

Death Toll Rises To 75, As NCDC Confirms 355 Cases Of Lassa Fever
File photo used to illustrate the story.

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 48 cases of Lassa fever in the country in 2022.

This is according to the NCDC’s epidemiological report for January 3 to January 9 published on the agency’s website.

According to the update, the new cases were confirmed in 10 states and 22 local government areas in Nigeria. Bauchi (29%), Edo (27%), and Ondo (23%) states account for 79 per cent of the cases.

READ ALSO: NCDC Alerts States As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 102

“In week 1, the number of new confirmed cases increased from 28 in week 52, 2021 to 48 cases. These were reported from Bauchi, Edo, Ondo, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau, Kogi, Cross River, and Ebonyi states,” it added.

“Cumulatively as of week 1, 2022, 2 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 4.2% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2021 (22.2%).”

The update further read that, “the predominant age-group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 3 to 70 years, Median Age: 31.5 years). The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:0.9. The number of suspected cases has increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2021. One new Healthcare worker affected from Benue State in the reporting week 1.”

A few days back, the agency had issued an alert about the disease to some states on the disturbing trend of Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

In the update, it had noted that 102 infected people died from the disease in 2021.

NCDC Alerts States As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 102

A file photo of an NCDC official and two others on duty.

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has sent letters to states to alert the authorities on the disturbing trend of Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

In its latest situation report on the disease published recently, the agency revealed that a total of 102 infected people died from the disease in 2021.

A breakdown of the report on Week 52 which covers December 27, 2021, to January 2, 2022, shows that three new deaths were recorded.

“In week 52, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 29 in week 51, 2021 to 28 cases,” it stated. “These were reported from Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Kaduna and Taraba States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Cumulatively from week 1 to week 52, 2021, 102 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 20.0% which is lower than the CFR for the same period in 2020 (20.7%). In total for 2021, 17 States have recorded at least one confirmed case across 68 Local Government Areas.”

READ ALSO: Six More Patients Die As NCDC Confirms 537 New COVID-19 Cases

Of all the cases confirmed last year, three states accounted for 84 per cent – Edo (42 per cent), Ondo (34 per cent), and Bauchi (eight per cent).

The predominant age group affected, according to the NCDC, is 21-30 years while the male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1 : 0.9.

 

It, however, indicated that the number of suspected cases decreased compared to the figure reported for the same period in 2020.

While no new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting Week 52, the NCDC gave an assurance that the national Lassa fever multi-partner and multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) have continued to coordinate the response activities at all levels.

Lassa virus is transmitted to man by infected multi-mammate rats and humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat carrying the virus.

In a bid to further tackle the disease in the new year, the NCDC said it was conducting high burden states preparedness/response engagement meeting.

It added that the National Emergency Operations Centre alert mode has been activated for effective multisectoral and multi-disciplinary coordination, stressing that the State Public Health Emergency Operations Centre has been triggered in affected states.

“The five Lassa fever molecular laboratories in the NCDC network are working full capacity to ensure that all samples are tested, and results provided within the shortest turnaround time,” the agency said.

“Confirmed cases are treated at identified treatment centres across the states. Dissemination of reviewed case management and safe burial practices guidelines. Risk communications and community engagement activities have been scaled up across states using television, radio, print, social media and other strategies.”

 

NCDC also said it has deployed rapid response teams to three states and the Federal Ministry of Environment has implemented Lassa fever environmental response campaign in high burden states.

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness and a viral haemorrhagic fever first reported in the Lassa community in Borno State when two missionary nurses died from an unusual febrile illness.

Since then, Nigeria has continued to report cases and outbreaks and the disease is increasingly recognised to be endemic in many parts of West Africa such as Benin Republic, Ghana, Mali and the Mano River region (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea).

People also contract the disease by touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.

Secondary transmission from person to person can also occur as a result of exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected patient.