By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
Abuja—The Federal Government yesterday said the current outbreak of Lassa fever in the country is under control, following recent decline in new suspected cases nationwide even as it confirmed 49 deaths so far from the disease.
Giving an update in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, further disclosed that Nigeria has so far recorded a total of 78 confirmed cases with 49 deaths in the current Lassa fever outbreak which has now spread to 20 states of the Federation.
According to him, there is also a decline in new laboratory confirmed cases and newly reported cases since this week.
He however warned that despite the achievement it will be dangerous for Nigerians to be complacent at this stage, as the country could record another flare-up and a second wave deep in the dry season.
“I have instructed the NCDC to work closely with the Lassa Fever Eradication Committee and other partners to develop a Lassa Fever Control strategy that will withstand the test of time.”
Speaking further, he said out of the 176 cases recorded with 108 deaths, 78 of which were confirmed cases and 49 deaths given a specific case fatality rate of 62.8 percent.
“As at today, 20 states are currently following up contacts, or have suspected or probable cases with laboratory results pending or laboratory confirmed cases.
On Zika virus, Adewole warned that despite the fact that some Nigerians are immune to the virus infection as demonstrated by previous studies, it is important and advisable that Nigerians should be careful and protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“There is no vaccine for Zika virus, and no cure other than rest, plenty of fluids and perhaps over-the-counter medication to reduce fevers, aches and pains as previously mentioned. This therefore means that prevention is most effective means of preventing transmission.”