The Cross River State Government, Nigeria, reported a Lassa fever outbreak in the Ejah Community of Osupong Ward 1, Obubra Local Government Area, on Thursday.
Dr. Henry Ayuk, the Commissioner for Health in Cross River, announced in Calabar that the state government has commenced contact tracing and line listing in response to the outbreak.
Ayuk stated, “This is to notify the public of Lassa fever outbreak in Ejah Community of Osupong Ward 1, Obubra LGA. Investigation has been concluded, and details of the deceased, a resident of Obubra, gotten from Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebony State, confirmed he died of Lassa fever.”
The state government has activated the Community Rescue Service Emergency Operation Centre, and the Rapid Response Team is set to join the LGA team in Obubra for contact tracing and line listing.
Ayuk explained, “The team will carry out decontamination of affected premises, awareness creation and risk communication. We are also mobilising Lassa fever commodities, consumables and personal protective equipment to the General Hospital Obubra and other locations.”
Lassa fever, as described by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease caused by the Lassa virus. The UN notes that it is primarily transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected Mastomys rodents or through food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected rodents. Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids, according to the WHO.