LASSA FEVER - WEST AFRICA (02): NIGERIA (NASARAWA)
Posted on 18TH JAN 2017
tagged Lassa Fever, Nigeria
Date: Mon 16 Jan 2016
Source: Channels Television [edited]
The Nasarawa state government has confirmed the re-emergence of Lassa fever disease in the state in north-central Nigeria. The state's commissioner for health, Dr Daniel Iya, confirmed the death of 4 people during an interview with Channels Television.
Dr Iya further disclosed that the state had recorded 16 suspected cases while 36 people, who had contact with the deceased, were being followed up. He noted that all the cases were from Lafia, the state's capital, and that the government had taken adequate measures to stall the spread of the deadly disease.
The re-emerging case comes barely 3 weeks after the Ondo state government said it had put all measures to prevent the disease from spreading to the state. As part of efforts towards achieving this, the Ondo state commissioner for health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, convened a sensitization meeting with stakeholders in the state.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[Last year  as of week 40, Nasarawa state reported 49 Lassa fever cases with 14 deaths. The outbreak in neighboring Ondo state is mentioned in the above report. Last year, as of week 40, that state reported 86 cases with 13 deaths. With Lassa fever being reported from 23 states in Nigeria, it is good to see its diagnosis, treatment and prevention being tackled on a national basis by a Lassa fever eradication committee.
It is difficult to know if the virus spread from neighboring Ondo state or was already present, perhaps at low levels, in rodent reservoirs in Nasarawa state. The virus is endemic in multimammate rodents (_Mastomys_ spp). Although reduction of populations of these rodents in and around human habitations is possible, their eradication and elimination of the virus is not. Public education will be essential for implementation of safe rodent control measures and for eliminating contamination of food materials by these rodents. Availability of personal protective equipment in health care centers will eliminate nosocomial transmission but only if that equipment is properly used. Training of health care personnel in its use, and subsequent routine practice, will be essential.
Interestingly, a previous ProMED-mail post (archive no. 20161221.4713167) of suspected Lassa fever cases in Ogun state included a request for information about confirmation, or not, of the etiology of these cases. The response of EpiCore participants in Nigeria was swift and gratifying. To date, 22 responses have been received confirming the cases as Lassa fever, an illustration of the effectiveness of the EpiCore system in Nigeria. ProMED-mail thanks these respondents.
Images of mastomys mice can be seen at http://www.ispot.org.za/node/255877.
Maps of Nigeria can be accessed at http and http://healthmap.org/promed/p/618. - Mod.TY
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/25968.]
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Lassa fever - Nigeria: (KN) 20160101.3905902