Posted on 05TH APR 2017
tagged Lassa Fever, West Africa; Nigeria

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 2 Apr 2017
Source: Daily Trust [edited]

Kogi on Sunday [2 Apr 2017] confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Angwan Kura Community, in the old market area of Lokoja, the state capital.

The patient, male and resident of Angwan Kura, Lokoja, reported at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, with signs and symptoms suggestive of haemorrhagic fever.

Health commissioner Saka Audu said state epidemiologists immediately responded by sending the patient's blood sample to the designated Laboratory at Federal Specialist Hospital Irrua, Edo State for analysis, which came back positive for Lassa fever.

The commissioner said that the patient was eventually transferred to Federal Specialist Hospital Irrua, Edo State for optimal care.

The State Rapid Response Team has begun tracing contacts of the male and started preventive treatment for health workers he came into contact with before his transfer to Irrua.

"All these have been concluded, as all those who have had contact with the patient are currently being closely monitored," said Audu.

"It is important to note that it was discovered that the patient had travelled to Illorin, Kwara state, where he had stayed for 2 weeks; he only developed symptoms of haemorrhagic fever 2 days after his return. We are, therefore, uncertain whether he contracted the virus in Ilorin or here in Lokoja. Any suspected case of Lassa fever or anyone with useful information related to this subject matter should call this designated telephone number."

The World Health Organization says that between August 2015 and 17 May 2016, it was notified of 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths in Nigeria.

Of these, the WHO added, 165 cases and 89 deaths have been confirmed through laboratory testing.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[It is satisfying to see the rapid diagnosis of this case, transfer to a hospital bed equipped to provide treatment and isolation, and timely tracking and surveillance of contact individuals.

Many areas in Nigeria are endemic for Lassa virus, so one can expect individual or small clusters of cases to pop up in several states during the transmission (dry) season, as illustrated by the case above.

Nigeria has begun to expand its surveillance with laboratory support to speed up diagnosis and response to Lassa fever and other diseases.

As noted in earlier comments, Lassa fever remains a problem in Nigeria because the virus is endemic there. Virus transmission to humans occurs when people are in contact with the reservoir rodent host, the multimammate mouse (in the genus _Mastomys_) or their excreta. Transmission also occurs in health facilities when personal protection equipment is not employed and barrier nursing practices are not adequate to protect staff from blood and secretions of infected patients.

Also, as noted in earlier, prevention and control of Lassa fever in nature depends on control of the rodent reservoir, which occurs across Nigeria and beyond. Reduction of populations of this rodent will require active participation at the village level. That will necessitate mounting a public education program with support of rodent control technicians. Preventing entry of rodents into the home and keeping food materials tightly covered are helpful measures to prevent infection. Elimination of these rodents completely is probably not possible.

Images of _Mastomys_ mice can be seen at

Maps of Nigeria can be accessed at and - Mod.TY]

See Also

Lassa fever - West Africa (14): Nigeria 20170402.4943005
Lassa fever - West Africa (13): update 20170328.4931422
Lassa fever - West Africa (12): Nigeria 20170327.4929174
Lassa fever - West Africa (11): Nigeria 20170319.4911462
Lassa fever - West Africa (10): Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso 20170312.4896305
Lassa fever - West Africa (09): Nigeria (BO) 20170302.4875164
Lassa fever - West Africa (08): Benin 20170301.4872702
Lassa fever - West Africa (07): Nigeria (BA) 20170225.4864837
Lassa fever - West Africa (06): Nigeria 20170225.4862689
Lassa fever - West Africa (05): Nigeria (NA) 20170215.4842179
Lassa fever - West Africa (04): Liberia 20170209.4827934
Lassa fever - West Africa (03): Nigeria (RI) 20170122.4782917
Lassa fever - West Africa (02): Nigeria (NA) 20170118.4773375
Lassa fever - West Africa (01): Nigeria (OG) 20170101.4735363