LASSA FEVER - WEST AFRICA (05): NIGERIA (NASARAWA)
Posted on 16TH FEB 2017
tagged Lassa Fever, West Africa; Nigeria
Date: Wed 15 Feb 2017
Source: Daily Trust [edited]
The Nasarawa state government has said that no fewer than 8 people have so far died following the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.
Dr Ibrahim Adamu, the Director of Public Health in the state's Ministry of Health, made this disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday [14 Feb 2017] in Lafia.
Adamu said: "Of the 11 confirmed cases recorded since the index case in November 2016, 8 have died, while 3 others are responding to treatment at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia."
"The 3 survivors in DASH are recovering very fast; 2 of them will be completing their treatment today, Tue 14 Feb 2017, to be discharged, while the other will complete his treatment by the weekend."
Adamu also said that the number of people who had contact with the patients, and who were being monitored, had risen to 82 from 66.
"All those identified contacts now under surveillance have been placed on oral drugs, and we monitor their temperature twice daily," he added.
He said the state government had shown commitment towards fighting the outbreak by providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and drugs for the treatment of the disease.
According to him, the insinuation that health personnel are complaining of not having access to PPE is not true, as the state government has provided adequate PPE to the hospitals. He explained that PPE was meant to be given only to the health personnel giving service to the affected patients.
"There is a lot of anxiety for the disease, which makes everybody in any hospital where there is a confirmed case to want to wear the PPE. However, there is also a clear method of the transmission of the disease that people should be aware of and when the need to wear the PPE arises," he said.
Adamu said that in order to allay fears about the spread of the disease at the hospital, some wards at DASH had been designated as isolation centres for the Lassa fever patients.
He added that the state government had also approved the creation of a disease isolation centre along Shinge road in Lafia.
Adamu said that fund was appropriated for the project in the 2017 budget and that it had been defended by the ministry before the State House of Assembly.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[The death toll from Lassa fever has increased from 4 on 16 Jan 2017 to 8 as reported above. However, that earlier report indicated that 16 suspected cases were recorded at that time, so some of the additional fatal cases reported above may have been among the suspected ones.
Although the above report focuses on nosocomial transmission of Lassa fever virus, the virus is endemic in multimammate rodents (_Mastomys_ spp). The reduction of populations of these rodents in and around human habitations is possible, but 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 mentioned above 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.
Images of mastomys mice can be seen at http://www.ispot.org.za/node/255877.
Maps of Nigeria can be accessed at http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/nigeria.pdf 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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