By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has announced that it had been notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria between August 2015 and May 17, 2016.
In a disease outbreak update released weekend, the world body said 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing and the cases were reported from 23 states in Nigeria.
According to the statement, since August 2015, 10 health care workers have been infected with Lassa fever virus, of which two have died. “Of these 10 cases, four were nosocomial infections.”
The statement also stated that as of 17 May 2016, eight states are currently reporting Lassa fever cases (suspected, probable, and confirmed), deaths or following of contacts for the maximum 21-day incubation period.
WHO also disclosed that presently, 248 contacts are being followed up in the country.
“The other 15 previously affected states have completed the 42-day period following last known possible transmission.
Meanwhile, Nigeria currently has two national laboratories supporting the laboratory confirmation of Lassa fever cases by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
“All the samples were also tested for Ebola, Dengue, Yellow fever and so far have tested negative. The two laboratories that are currently operational are: Virology laboratory, Lagos University Teaching Hospital.”