Lassa fever cases rise, Nigeria activates Emergency Operations Centre


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During the first three weeks of 2023, Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) reported a total of 244 confirmed cases with 37 deaths and a case fatality rate of 15.1% from 16 states and FCT – Ondo (90), Edo (89), Bauchi (13), Taraba (10), Benoy (9), Ebonyi (9), Nasarawa (7), Plateau (5), Kogi (4), Anambra (2), Delta (1), Oyo (1), Adamawa (1), Enugu (1), Imo (1), and FCT (1).

This compared to 170 confirmed cases and 32 deaths during the same period in 2022.

This prompted the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) to activate the Lassa Fever Emergency Operations Center to coordinate and enhance ongoing response activities in the country. The LF-EOC was triggered following a risk assessment conducted on January 20, 2023 by subject matter experts from the NCDC, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and key stakeholders and partners. The outcome of the risk assessment placed the country at very high risk of increased transmission of Lassa fever due to the following:

An unprecedented upward trend in the number of confirmed cases reported compared to previous years.

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Increased number of countries reporting cases compared to previous years

Increased risk of infection and death of health care workers due to Lassa fever infection

The purpose of revitalizing the EOC is to achieve a coordinated national response especially across the affected states to stop transmission of the disease, reduce the impact of the disease by reducing suffering, mortality (morbidity and mortality), and other social and economic complications of the disease.

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