Lassa fever: After 129 deaths, FG declares emergency phase over

Lassa fever: After 129 deaths, FG declares emergency phase over

- The federal government has given its latest report on the Lassa fever disease in the country

- The report that came through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was that the emergency state of the disease is over

- This came after the body combated the disease that claimed not less than 129 lives across 21 states in the country

Following a recent joint epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) WHO Nigeria and other partners, the federal government on Friday, May 31, declared that the emergency phase of Lassa fever is over.

This is coming after the bodies combated the disease that claimed not less than 129 lives across 21 states in the country.

The statement that contained the declaration was co-signed by the NCDC's director general, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and Clement Peter the officer-in-charge of the World Health Organisation, Nigeria, (WHO), Premium Times reports.

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The NCDC's boss said that due to an impressive response, the Lassa fever case count has notably dropped such the disease in the country has fallen below emergency levels.

He said: “This year, there was also a decline in case fatality rate of Lassa fever, from 27 per cent in 2018 to 22 per cent in 2019.”

However, Ihekweazu said that the deadly disease is not yet over in the country as there might be few cases of patients with the fever, adding that the agency will work with a multi-sectoral Lassa fever Technical Working Group for co-ordination of efforts.

He said: “Given that Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria, it is likely that the country will continue to record cases of Lassa fever.

“The group’s focus is to continue monitoring cases, as well as improve disease prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and response activities across all levels in Nigeria.

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“However, we have several research strategies to improve our knowledge of the disease. We are also working with states and partners to establish more long-term strategies such as improved risk communication, infection prevention and control, regular environmental sanitation, enhanced capacity of health workers and improvement of treatment centres among others.”

On his part, Peter said: “WHO remains committed to working with the Government of Nigeria and other partners to sustain and improve Nigeria’s capacity to detect, prepare for and respond to Lassa fever outbreaks including implementing a Lassa fever research plan and other control strategies.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the federal government on Monday, February 25, urged Nigerians to disregard Whatsapp and Twitter messages making the rounds about suspected Lassa fever cases in the Asokoro district Hospital of Abuja.

This was made known in a statement signed by the chief executive officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu, in Abuja.

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Source: Legit

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