The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced that the emergency phase of the 2020 Lassa fever outbreak is over.
The announcement was made following a successive decline in cases below the emergency threshold, and an epidemiological review carried out by it (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
A national Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) was activated by the NCDC on January 24, 2020. 979 confirmed cases and 188 deaths have been recorded from 27 States including the Federal Capital Territory as of April 19, 2020.
NCDC said in its statement;
“It is important to highlight that this year, there was a decline in case fatality of Lassa fever, from 23% in 2019 to 19% in 2020.
“Despite the end of the emergency phase of this outbreak, the NCDC will continue to coordinate the national multisectoral Lassa fever Technical Working Group (TWG).
“This TWG ensures continuous monitoring of cases, as well as strengthening of Lassa fever surveillance, diagnostic, treatment and other response activities across all levels in Nigeria.”
The health agency has centered its strategic response on five key priorities:
1. Improved preparedness through training of health workers across the country and a nationwide communications campaign before the outbreak
2. Early deployment of One-Health Rapid Response Teams to affected States and deployment of surge staff to treatment centres
3. Establishment of new treatment centres and strengthening of existing treatment centres
4. Distribution of medical, laboratory, treatment and infection prevention and control supplies to all states with confirmed cases
5. Implementation of Lassa fever Environmental response campaign in high burden states by the Federal Ministry of Environment.