NCDC Weekly Epidemiological Report: Issue: Volume 11 No. 46: 9th – 15th November 2020

Situation Report
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Working with States to prepare for 2020/2021 Lassa Fever Season

Lassa fever(LF) is endemic in Nigeria, with cases recorded all year round. However, there is an increase in cases in thein dry season especially between November and May. Within this, the peak period is usually from January to May. One possible reason for this is that during dry season, the rat vectors that infect humans with the virus, migrate from its primary habitat in the bush towards human settlement.

With the urgent need to reduce the number of cases, deaths and disabilities during this outbreak season, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been working closely with all states to ensure adequate measures are put in place. In the with this, NCDC has recently developed and shared a letter of alert with all the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory. This highlights key expectations from states as the NCDC continues to provide necessary support.

As part of the preparedness activities for 2020/2021 peak season, NCDC has continued to work with the states to ensure reduced transmission and mitigate impacts of such. In line with the above, states are kindly requested to prioritise the following key activities:

  1. Resuscitate and train State Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR) Committee and Rapid Response Teams (RRT)

  2. Intensify risk communication activities by airing radio jingles and disseminating IEC materials

  3. Continuously sensitise all health care workers to have a high index of suspicion and adhere strictly to standard precautions while providing care

  4. Allocate a dedicated budget line for disease surveillance (Lassa fever), risk communications/public awareness, other preparedness and response activities

  5. Designate Isolation/Treatment Centres for clinical management of infectious disease cases

  6. Procure and preposition response commodities and medicines

  7. Establish/strengthen a State funded robust sample transporting system health facilities

  8. Intensify surveillance activities including active case search and contact tracing

  9. Adopt one health approach by involving the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, and other relevant agencies and partners in the Lassa fever response

  10. Provide comprehensive aftercare services for survivors

  11. Activate Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) based on the protocol to declare an emergency

We urge the States’ Governments to fully support their respective epidemiology units and maximise the investments on the COVID-19 response to implement the above listed activities. This is especially important to reduce the risk of spread of cases. We also urge members of the public to take preventive measures to prevent Lassa fever disease including regular handwashing with soap and water, proper storage of food, ensuring clean environment to prevent breeding of rats among others.

The National Lassa fever Technical Working Group coordinated by NCDC will continue to work closely with states to monitor and coordinate situations across the country as well as support states in improving preparedness and response activities.

Summary of Incidents

  1. Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports

  2. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only

  3. Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data

  4. CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed

  5. Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory