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.
Borno State reports first Lassa fever outbreak in 48 years
3 March 2017 - Borno state in northeast Nigeria has recorded its first Lassa fever outbreak in almost five decades. The last confirmed outbreak of the deadly disease was in 1969. WHO is supporting the government to contain the outbreak in an area of the country which is already coping with a humanitarian crisis resulting from years of conflict.
In order to contain the outbreak, the WHO emergency humanitarian health team in the state has taken a number of actions. This includes rapid training on clinical case management, contact tracing, mobilizing a network of healthcare workers at the hospital, and building public awareness.
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.