By Chinyere Ogbonna – The Center for Disease Control (CDC), in Nigeria has called for Improved good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation. This followed the death of sixteen people including medical doctors who lost their lives in the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in parts of the country.
This is contained in a statement on the outbreak of the disease which states, “since the beginning of 2018, a total number of 107 suspected Lassa fever cases have been recorded in ten States. The states are Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Lagos States. As at 21st January, 2018, the total number of confirmed cases is 61 with 16 deaths recorded.”
The statement says that it has activated emergency operation across Nigeria to deal with the disease which killed hundreds in the country between 2016 and 2017, with rapid response teams deployed to states mostly hit in the recent outbreak. Last week, Ebonyi State Government, south-east Nigeria, shut down all schools to check the spread of the virus after recording three deaths.
According to the centre, Lassa fever, is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated by infected rodents, adding that, person-to-person transmission can also occur, particularly in hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures.
It explained, “means that health care workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease, especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to.”