Abuja - The Federal Government says Lassa
fever has claimed 41 lives from 93 reported cases in 10 states of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the federal government on Friday
put the death toll at 40 out of 86 reported cases of Lassa fever outbreak in
same 10 states.
The number of the suspected cases also rose from 86 last week to 93.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, confirmed this in Abuja on Tuesday
at a joint ministerial news conference on the update of the outbreak of the
However, Adewole said there were no new confirmed cases or death in the last 48
He did not disclose the state from which the additional life was lost.
Also read: Oyo allays fears of Lassa fever outbreak
"In the last 48 hours the government raised a four-man expert committee,
chaired by Prof. Michael Asuzu, to visit Kano, Niger and Bauchi, the three most
"The committee will embark on a fact finding mission, assess the current
situation, document response experiences, identify gaps and proffer
recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences,’’ he said.
The minister assured the public that the task of the committee was not to
apportion blame but rather to document lessons learnt for better planning of an
According to Adewole, part of the long term response is to establish an
inter-ministerial committee to deliver a final blow on Lassa fever and other
The committee comprised the ministers of Education, Agriculture and Natural
Resources, Environment, Information and Culture as well as Health.
Adewole advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene
and food protection practices.
He also urged the public to avoid contact with rodents and rats as well as food
contaminated with rat’s secretions and excretions.
"Avoid drying food in the open and along roadsides, it is also important to
cover all foods to prevent rodents contamination,’’ he said.
The minister said affected states have been advised to intensify awareness
creation on the signs and symptoms of the disease.
According to him, the affected states are Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba,
Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo.
"The public is hereby assured that government and other stakeholders are
working tirelessly to address the outbreak and bring it to timely end,’’ said
He said the ministry had ordered for the immediate release of adequate quantities
of "ribavirin’’, the specific antiviral drug for Lassa fever, to the affected
states for prompt treatment of cases.
Adewole said Nigeria has the capability to diagnose Lassa fever, adding that "all the cases reported so far were confirmed by our laboratories’’.
NAN recalls that the first case of the current outbreak was reported from
Bauchi in November 2015.