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East African Medical Journal

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A retrospective view of Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria (2012- 2017)

G.O. Anetor

Abstract


Objective: High mortality is attributed to Lassa fever in Nigeria, making it a disease of great public health importance. In the last 3 years (2015- 2018), the disease has continued to be on the increase. This study examined the retrospective view of Lassa fever outbreak in the last six years (2012-2017) in order to ascertain the spread of the disease.

Methodology: Data on Lassa fever from 2012 – 2017 was used for this study. The data was collected, collated and SPSS was used to analyze the data in line with the set objectives.

Results: The findings confirmed increase in the spread of Lassa fever in many states of Nigeria. Young people are more affected by the disease and more males than females are also more affected in the ratio of 3:2. The disease is spread throughout the year; and the attack rate and case fatality rate remain high especially in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states. Timeliness and completeness report data were barely 80% indicating poor data reporting system as all cases ought to be completely and timely reported in order to detect early and follow up on an unusual trend of disease occurrence.

Conclusion: From the findings in this study, Lassa fever is still on the increase in Nigeria. Continuous surveillance and vibrant case management should be employed by all tiers of health care. The government should ask for assistance from other countries to fight Lassa fever to a halt.




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