Lassa fever outbreak claims 16 lives in Nigeria
London, Jan. 24, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Centre for Disease Control (CDC), in Nigeria, has confirmed 16 people dead in the latest outbreak of Lassa fever. The Center made this known on Wednesday with a call for improved good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.
The Centre, in its first statement on the outbreak of the disease stated that, “since the beginning of 2018, a total number of 107 suspected Lassa fever cases have been recorded in ten States. The states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Lagos States. As at 21st January, 2018, the total number of confirmed cases is 61 with 16 deaths recorded.”
The Centre informed that it has activated emergency operation across Nigeria to deal with the disease which killed hundreds in the country between 2016 and 2017, with rapid response teams deployed to states mostly hit in the latest outbreak.
Last week, south-eastern state of Ebonyi shut down all schools to halt the spread of the virus after recording three deaths.
Lassa fever, according to the Centre, is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents, adding that, person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures.
This, the Centre explained, “means that health care workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease, especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to.”