The World Health Organization, WHO, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have said that the spread of Lassa fever in Nigeria is on the decline.
It, however, said the epidemic is far from being contained.
Latest data obtained by our reporter from NCDC showed that the number of new confirmed and probable cases had been falling for five consecutive weeks, indicating that public health measures were effective, but more infections were expected until the end of the dry season.
According to the data obtained, 396 infections and 100 deaths were confirmed by the NCDC between January 1st and March 25th 2018.
Also, there were 18 new confirmed cases in the last reporting week (19-25 March 2018), compared to 54 confirmed cases a month earlier (19-25 February 2018).
Speaking on the decreasing trend of Lassa fever in the country, Chief Executive Officer of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said: “We are researching what has led to so many people becoming infected with Lassa fever. Even with a downward trend, until we can better understand the causes behind its rapid spread, we must treat the outbreak as a priority.”
Similarly, WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Wondi Alemu, said: “We should interpret the recent declining trend in new cases with caution. The Lassa fever season is not yet over. We need to maintain vigilance and response operations, and ensure continued engagement with communities to help curb the further spread of Lassa fever.”