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NCDC activates emergency operations on Lassa fever

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has activated its emergency operation centres in response to the increase in Lassa fever cases.

The Director-General of the Centre, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, revealed on Thursday that there was a surge in confirmed cases, fatalities, and geographic spread of the disease from 2023 to 2024.

According to his statement, the latest situation report shows that total confirmed cases increased from 29 in 2023 to 53 in 2024.

“The case fatality rate range covering six states in 2023 and nine states in 2024 is now in 25 local government areas, up from 13 local government areas,” he said.

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He noted that NCDC, which classified Lassa fever as “high-risk,” is speedily coordinating a national response to mitigate the impact of the infectious disease.

The National Lassa Fever Technical Working Group, according to him, had been activated following a risk assessment conducted by subject matter experts from relevant ministries, departments, agencies, and stakeholders, including major partners.

He explained that the risk assessment revealed that the country is at “high risk” of increased Lassa fever transmission and impact due to the increased number of states reporting cases and high fatalities.

“The zones impacted by Lassa fever have been increasing across the country, with a risk of international exposure. The Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, through the agency, had put up preparations for this Lassa fever season prior to the activation of the EOC.

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“The Lassa fever-EOC activation will coordinate a national response, particularly across affected states, to help minimise suffering, reduce mortality, interrupt disease transmission, and address socioeconomic complications using a one-health approach,” he said.

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