With the increasing cases of Lassa fever reported across the country, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated a National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate the response activities.
Since the beginning of the year, Nigeria has been experiencing a sporadic increase in the number of Lassa fever cases and deaths.
The Nigerian health agency in a statement issued on Saturday, said the increase in the number of cases at this time of the year is not unusual, due to ecological factors
It said the National EOC includes representatives from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control, and other partners.
The agency said it is also supporting states in strengthening their preparedness and response capacity.
Over the last three weeks, NCDC said it has deployed Rapid Response Teams to support five of the affected states.
It added that it has rapidly increased risk communications and community engagement activities to ensure that Nigerians are aware of the risks of Lassa fever and measures to protect themselves.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa.
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.
Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%.
Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival