FG Decries Alarming Increase In Cases Of Lassa Fever Across Nigeria

31 killed in Lassa fever outbreak says health minister

The Minister of Health, Prof.

Chikwe Ihekweazu chief executive officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said as at February 2, the current Lassa fever number has a total of 405 suspected cases, 105 confirmed cases, 3 probable case, 31 deaths and 15 states with active outbreaks.

The minister further said that efforts to mitigate Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria started in May 2017.

Lassa fever belongs to the same family as Marburg and Ebola, two deadly viruses that lead to infections with fever, vomiting and in worst-case scenarios, haemorrhagic bleeding.

To this end, the minister stressed the need for all stakeholders in the health sector to adopt a contextual multisectoral approach in sharing data on disease outbreak in the country.

"We will be reviewing Nigeria's quarantine law in interest of disease surveillance activities in Nigeria".

"Lassa Fever are seasonal with cluster of outbreaks in the dry season and sometimes in the late rainy season".

He further stressed on the need to engage in preventive measures of eradicating Lassa fever outbreak than having emergency outbreak.

He also called on the states who are yet to pay their counterpart funding for measles eradication to comply as soon as possible.

Adewole listed affected states to include Bauchi, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Ondo, Osun and Lagos.

According to the commissioner, the step is in line with the state government's declaration of state of emergency on the health sector.

According to Umezuruike, the state government had series of enlightenment campaign to familiarise the indigenes with the.disease. Adewole said of the 31 deaths from Lassa fever outbreak, four health workers died as a result of the disease; three deaths were recorded in Ebonyi and one in Kogi.

The minister, therefore, appealed to the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and other research institutes to look into the changing dynamics of Lassa fever.

He said: "We expect that monitoring will be done in each station of the federation". We need to intensify our communication strategy at both national and subnational levels to improve the health seeking behaviour of the populace.

Abuja - The Federal Government has decried the alarming increase in the Lassa Fever spread and urged health workers to adhered to the universal precaution.

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