Lassa Fever: 2845 Contacts Identified In 18 States - NCDC

317 Lassa fever cases in 2 months eclipse entire 2017 record

317 Lassa fever cases in 2 months eclipse entire 2017 record

Dr. Ihekweazu said the cases were more pronounced in three states - Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi and according to him, with the activation of the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja in addition to the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), the testing capacity for diagnosing the disease had increased from two to three laboratories in the country.

The WHO said a total of 2,845 people who have come into contact with patients have been identified and are being monitored. The number of cases confirmed by the NCDC as of February 25 crossed the total number of cases in 2017.

Deputy Director and Head of Surveillance at the GHS, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, indicated on Thursday, 1 March 2018 that a test conducted at the Nogouchi Memorial Institute in Accra proved positive for Lassa Fever.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said this is the worst outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria.

Health workers are most times secondary victims who get infected while treating patients with the disease.

One person has been confirmed dead at the Tema General Hospital from Lassa fever.

Edo remains the worst as 43% of all confirmed cases are from the state.

Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO representative to Nigeria, said rapid detection of infection and early treatment improve patients' chances of survival.

According to the press release made available by the agency on Wednesday, given the unprecedented outbreak, the NCDC calls on all Nigerians, especially those living in these three States to continue focusing on prevention by ensuring they prevent access to their foodstuff by rodents.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever which is endemic in West Africa, and it is transmitted by contact with infected rodents, especially rats.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that so far, some 54 Nigerians have died in the seven weeks of the Lassa fever outbreak which hit the country early 2018.

The report also stated that since the onset of the outbreak, there has been a high case "identification rate" through the use of "standard case definition" employed via the integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR) strategy.

Also, he said healthcare workers in the major treatment centres at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Owo and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki have received adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to manage their patients from government and partners.

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