By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Nigeria so far recorded 54 deaths in the seven weeks of the Lassa fever outbreak which hit the country early this year.
NSDC stated this yesterday in its weekly epidemiological report for week seven.
It disclosed that a total of 913 suspected cases of the disease have been reported across 17 states.
The statement released the states to include; Edo, Ondo, Kogi, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Gombe, Kaduna, Taraba, FCT, Oyo, Delta, Nasarawa, Anambra, Osun Benue and Lagos
NCDC said 272 cases of the disease have been confirmed positive and 54 deaths recorded, giving a case fatality rate of 21 percent.
Some of the states most affected by the outbreak are Edo, which has recorded the highest number of suspected cases, Ondo and Ebonyi. Most of the patients are also being managed in the three states.
According to the agency, the most critical aspect of an outbreak response is coordination of all activities.
Since the outbreak of the disease, response activities have been carried out in all affected states and coordinated nationally by NCDC, the report stated.
The report also stated that Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) have been set up in states where outbreaks have been reported.
“The EOC serves as the command centre for all activities during the outbreak,” the report stated.
NCDC said in this current outbreak, the National Lassa fever EOC operates on six major pillars: coordination, surveillance/epidemiology, case management/infection prevention and control/safe burial, risk communication, logistics and supplies and laboratory.
The members of the EOC are drawn from various ministries including the ministries of agriculture and environment as well as partner agencies.
As the outbreak continues with more states reporting confirmed cases, NCDC also encourages all states to set up state-level EOC for proper and better management response activities.