News

April 23, 2024

NCDC activates Lassa Fever emergency operations centre

NCDC activates Lassa Fever emergency operations centre

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has activated a multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System to coordinate response efforts at all levels through the Emergency Operations Centre.

The centre made this known on its official website.

The NCDC said the move became necessary because it recorded 5,669 suspected cases of Lassa fever, resulting in 152 deaths, equating to a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 18.3 per cent.

The Centre noted that 832 cases had been confirmed across 27 states and 126 Local Government Areas from January to April 14.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lassa fever, caused by the Lassa virus, is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness primarily transmitted through contact with infected Mastomys rats’ urine or faeces, endemic in parts of West Africa.

The disease is also endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria.

Person-to-person transmission and laboratory infections can occur, especially in healthcare settings lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial, with an overall case-fatality rate of one per cent and approximately 15 per cent for severe cases.

The public health agency report for week 15 indicated an increase in new confirmed cases, with 152 deaths reported so far in 2024, higher than the same period in 2023.

“Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states accounted for 65 per cent of confirmed cases.

”The predominant age group is 31 to 40 years and a male-to-female ratio of 1:1,” the centre was quoted as saying.

The report also highlights an increase in suspected cases compared to the previous year and notes 32 infections among healthcare workers.

The centre said that prevention of Lassa fever involves avoiding contact with rodents and their droppings, practicing good personal hygiene, and taking precautions when caring for infected individuals. (NAN)