News article

WHO remains mobilized against Lassa fever cases as number of cases go down in affected areas

While the number of new Lassa fever cases have significantly reduced over the past weeks, intensified response activities are on-going to control the outbreak across Nigeria.  To fully contain the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) remains mobilized and is  supporting Nigeria to stem further spread of the disease.

“As an influential leader of Etsako East, one of the worse hit areas, I am impressed with the continued sensitization and follow up visits by WHO personnel to ensure that our people are not infected”, says Mr John Onyene of Edo State. 

According to him, through the sensitization activities, communities are encouraged to remain vigilant and report any rumour to the nearest health facility because early diagnosis and treatment can save lives.

Over the past weeks, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported a decrease in the number of new Lassa fever cases in Nigeria. In the week 18-24 February 2019, twenty-three new confirmed cases were reported from eight States compared with up to 80 new cases reported between 21-27 January 2019. In total, 381 confirmed cases and 81 deaths have been reported between 01 January and 24 February 2019 from 21 States across 66 Local Government Areas(LGA)

Notwithstanding  the overall decrease, available records indicate that several States have reported more cases in 2019 than in previous outbreaks. As at 24 February, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba have notably reported more cases (29, 24 and 03 cases respectively) than in 2018 during the worst Lassa fever outbreak to date.  WHO continues to help affected states by strengthening their capacity to conduct disease surveillance, treat patients, implement infection prevention and control measures, laboratory diagnostics and engaging with communities. 

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