FG declares Lassa fever outbreak over

Health officials have declared the end of the emergency phase of the 2018 Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria.

At least 423 confirmed cases were reported with 106 deaths from the disease outbreak since January, when the NCDC began containment measures.

Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole in a press briefing disclosed on Thursday that the control was a joint epidemiological review by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) and World Health Organisation(WHO).

He however noted that the country might continue to record cases of Lassa fever given the epidemiological of the disease in Nigeria.

“What it means is that the threat has been minimized and we shouldn’t go to sleep because based on what we experienced last year, we still expect to see occasional cases.” The minister said.

On the level of preparedness and response, Adewole revealed that the NCDC has begun a nationwide training of health workers on Lassa fever management and diagnosis.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, CEO, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said the Lassa fever case count consistently declined in the past six weeks, dropping below levels considered to be a national emergency.

He said despite the end of the emergency phase of the outbreak, NCDC and its partners would maintain intensive preparedness and response activities against the ugly scourge.

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