Via allAfrica.com, a ThisDay report: Nigeria: NCDC Debunks Three Cases of Lassa Fever in Anambra. Excerpt:
The National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has debunked reports in some media outlets that three cases of Lassa fever virus were discovered in Anambra.
He said the only case noticed recently was that of a 54 year old man who presented last week at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, adding that, he was referred from a private hospital in Asaba, Delta State, where he was receiving treatment until his condition deteriorated.
According to him, "on presentation at the Accident and Emergency of NAUTH, Lassa fever was suspected, blood samples collected and sent to the reference laboratory at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, where the diagnosis of Lassa fever was confirmed. He died within an hour of admission."
He said the State public health authorities in Anambra and Delta States have commenced a public health response including epidemiological investigations, contact tracing and the prepositioning of drugs and supplies.
"As at 22 August 2016, 40 contacts have been identified in Delta State and 19 in Anambra State. All contacts are currently being monitored for symptoms of Lassa fever. The Delta and Anambra States Ministries of Health are coordinating the responses in their respective states, while the NCDC provides support and guidance to limit further spread.
"This case again illustrates the importance of following clinical protocols to confirm the cause of febrile illnesses, especially malaria, before treatment. Regarding the confirmed case of Lassa fever, we are working closely with the relevant State Government teams to limit further spread.
"We encourage health workers and health facilities across the country to maintain a high index of suspicion for Lassa fever and indeed other viral hemorrhagic fevers. We also encourage State governments and their Ministries of Health to sustain adequate detection and response capacity," he added.