Lassa fever is a highly contagious viral haemorrhagic fever with a high mortality rate transmitted by the Mammal, Mastomys, in which the domestic rat is a member.
Following increased cases of the diseases as reported by doctors, the Federal government, through the Nigerian center for Disease Control, have urged that suspected Lassa cases be quickly reported to ensure treatment commences on time.
The NCDC have confirmed that 7 states have been affected in this new epidemic, including Ogun, Taraba, Nasarawa, Edo, Ondo, Rivers and Plateau states.
Lassa fever is curable when there is rapid laboratory testing to confirm the disease, leading to early commencement of treatment”“The NCDC wants to remind healthcare workers that they are at a higher risk of contracting Lassa. They are therefore encouraged to ensure strict infection prevention and control practices at points of care“All febrile illnesses must be tested for malaria before treatment; tests that return negative for malaria may be Lassa fever and must flag suspicion.“We encourage frontline health workers to report all suspected cases of Lassa to their Local Government Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers and/or State Epidemiologists.”