Nigeria's Lassa fever outbreak contained, but continued vigilance needed
10 May 2018 - With six weeks of declining numbers and only a handful of confirmed cases reported in recent weeks, the critical phase of Nigeria’s largest-ever Lassa fever outbreak is under control. However, Nigeria is endemic for Lassa fever and people could be infected throughout the year, making continued efforts to control any new flare ups crucial.
WHO will continue to support the Nigerian government to maintain an intensified response to the current Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria.
22 March 2018 - In Edo state – where the outbreak has been spreading particularly fast – WHO, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the local government are reaching out to communities with a large-scale awareness raising campaign. Sensitization sessions will aim to reach nearly 9,000 community leaders, town announcers, headmasters, herbalists, healthcare workers, clinicians, church leaders, and women who work in local markets.
On the frontlines of the fight against Lassa fever in Nigeria
19 March 2018 – The institute of Lassa Fever Control in Irrua is at the epicentre of Nigeria’s response to the country’s worst outbreak of Lassa fever on record. It is located in Edo state, where more than 40% of the 365 confirmed cases have occurred.
NCDC, WHO and partners have sent staff to support the institute at Irrua. WHO experts are working with healthcare workers to ensure that the infection does not spread within the health facility.
1 March 2018 – The current Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria shows an increasing trend in the number of cases and deaths in recent weeks with 317 confirmed cases reported in 2018 so far.
WHO is supporting the NCDC-led response with a focus on strengthening coordination, surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory testing, clinical management of patients, and community engagement.
WHO scales up to contain Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria
13 February 2018 - WHO is scaling up its response to an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria, which has spread to 17 states and may have infected up to 450 people in less than five weeks.
Lassa fever is endemic in several West African countries. Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all reported cases in the past month. WHO is working with countries in the region to strengthen coordination and cross-border cooperation.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. It is transmitted to humans from contacts with food or household items contaminated with rodent excreta. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa. Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in the hospital environment in the absence of adequate infection control measures. Diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential.