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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: January 26, 2022

NCDC Sets Measures To Tackle Lassa Fever Outbreak

NCDC Sets Measures To Tackle Lassa Fever Outbreak

NCDC

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Maureen Okpe
Maureen Okpe

Maureen is a media practitioner and an impeccable writer with close to 4 years active experience wor...

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has activated a national multi-sectoral and disciplinary Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), as response to tackling outbreaks in some parts of the country

This the centre disclosed became necessary given the increase in the number of confirmed Lassa fever cases across the nation in a collaborative assessment with partners and sister agencies.  

Lassa fever, an acute viral hemorrhagic illness transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by rodents infected with the virus is endemic in Nigeria and is often recorded during the dry season, between November and May.

In a statement signed by the Director-General, NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa said, since 2016, NCDC has worked hard to improve diagnostic capacity for the disease, adding, currently seven laboratories can conduct confirmatory tests for Lassa fever in Nigeria and coordinated by the NCDC National Reference Laboratory (NRL). This he noted has improved active case detection for the disease.

Antifa explained that as of January 23, 2022, a total of 115 confirmed cases with 26 deaths, a case fatality ratio of 22.6%, have been reported. These cases, he revealed were reported from thirty (30) Local Government Areas (LGAs) across eleven (11) States. 

According to him,"Care for affected individuals has improved with NCDC providing support to states including the provision of emergency medical and laboratory supplies as well as oral and intravenous Ribavirin for preventive and curative treatment to treatment centres across the country. In addition, Nigeria through NCDC is participating in the largest-ever Lassa fever study that aims to provide an accurate assessment of the incidence of the disease in West Africa. 

"This will also accelerate the development of vaccines and therapeutics for Lassa fever. These are supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Wellcome Trust. To support and strengthen the response efforts of states, NCDC has continued to deploy Rapid Response Teams (RRT) as required to states. The RRTs through the State Public Health Emergency Operation Centres (PHEOCs) works with states across all response pillars to strengthen preparedness and response activities. 

"This includes outbreak investigation, contact tracing, response coordination, case management, psycho-social care for infected people, risk communication, and infection prevention and control activities. 

The DG further said, NCDC using a One Health approach, work with relevant ministries, departments, health agencies, and partners to strengthen the capacity of states to effectively manage the outbreak alongside COVID-19 and other diseases of public health relevance. 

Stating, the Federal Ministry of Environment as part of preventive measures, as well as implementing a Lassa fever Environmental response campaign in high burden states, as the time between infection and the appearance of symptoms of the disease is 3 to 21 days, and early treatment and diagnosis increase the chances of survival. 

"To keep this infection away we should ensure proper environmental sanitation keep your environment clean at all times, block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entry. Cover your dustbins and dispose of refuse properly. Communities should set up dumpsites very far from their homes to reduce the chances of having rodents within homes. 

"Store foodstuff like rice, garri, beans, corn/maize, amongst others in containers that are well covered with tight-fitting lids. Avoid drying foodstuffs outside on the floor, roadside where they will be exposed to contamination. Avoid bush burning which can lead to the displacement of rats from bushes to human dwellings. 

"Eliminate rats in homes and communities by setting rat traps and other means. Practice good personal hygiene by frequent washing hands with soap under running water /or use of hand sanitisers when appropriate. Visit the nearest health facility if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of Lassa fever as mentioned earlier, and avoid self-medication. 

"Health care workers are also advised to practice standard precautions and to maintain a high index of suspicion at all times. Ensure appropriate use of personal protective equipment any time there is a risk of body fluid exposure. This is critical for breaking the chain of transmission of the disease," he stressed. 

 

 

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Maureen Okpe
Maureen Okpe

Maureen is a media practitioner and an impeccable writer with close to 4 years active experience wor...

More From this Author

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