Updates on Lassa Fever in Nigeria
- By Clement Ugochukwu Nyenke, Felix Eedee Konne, Roseanne Adah Ikpeama - 24 Dec 2022
- Healthcare Issues, Volume: 1 (2022), Issue: 1 (July-December), Pages: 1 - 8
- Received: 6.12.2022; Accepted: 13.12.2022; Published: 24.12.2022
Nigeria, with population of approximately 200,000,000 people and a 2.6% annual growth rate has had several disease outbreaks in the last ten years, including Lassa fever. Lassa virus (LASV) is a biosafety level-4 virus that causes Lassa fever (LF). Ingestion of consumables tainted with urine or faeces, as well as inhalation of droplets by its natural host, the Multimammate rat, are frequentways in which it is spread to people (Mastomys natalensis). This is accomplished by infecting endothelial cells with alpha-dystroglycan cell surface receptors (alpha-DG). The majority of human cases of Lassa fever normally occur between December and April during the dry season. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, there were 7,077 suspected cases overall as of week 42 (17th - 23rd October, 2022), with the age group most frequently affected being 21 to 30 years (NCDC). In week 41(2022), there were seven new confirmed cases, an increase from the previous week’s four. These cases were recorded in the states of Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, and Cross River. The South-Southern geopolitical zone’s Edo State and the Southwest geopolitical zone’s Ondo State have seen the most of the virus’ spread since December 2016. The Nigerian government has implemented a number of strategies, including the activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre alert mode, the creation of state public health operation centres, the dispatch of National Rapid Response Teams (NRRT), case management, and IPC training for medical professionals. Additionally, the Nigerian government has declared intentions to develop new medications and vaccines with facilities at the Federal Medical Center in Owo, the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, and the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo state. and Bauchi State Teaching Hospital. With the use of Lassa virus vaccines raising important questions about cost, stability and accessibility, rodent control and further researches as well as public health campaigns remains effective ways to prevent Lassa fever in endemic countries.
Keywords: fever, infection, lassa, virus