By Gabriel Olawale
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, yesterday disclosed that 43 persons have died from Lassa fever outbreak in less than two months.
According to information made available on its website, the government agency disclosed that out of the 615 suspected cases reported across 17 states, “193 have been confirmed positive to the Lassa fever virus. 43 deaths were recorded in confirmed cases giving a case fatality rate of 23.9 percent.
It was noted 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.
The agency explained that high case identification was an indication of an active and improved surveillance system, adding “this in itself, is a part of the case detection process as all cases have to be subjected to laboratory test for further classification and disease burden estimation.
“Currently, Lassa fever test is carried out across three laboratories in Nigeria. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC has provided support for all testing laboratories with provision of reagents and other consumables. It is hoped that in the near future, states are able to build and support laboratories to carry out Lassa fever tests.
“Investigation and active case search are ongoing in affected States with coordination of response activities by the NCDC and support from partners. National Lassa Fever Working Group has been escalated to National Emergency Operations Centre on the 22nd January 2018.”