Conference abstract

Descriptive characterization of the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, 2016

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(80).26 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.80.237

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Keywords: Lassa hemorrhagic fever, outbreak, Nigeria
Oral presentation

Descriptive characterization of the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, 2016

Ibrahim Sule Baffa1,&, Usman Rabi1, Aisha Abubakar1, Mercy Niyang1, Bola Gobir1, Patrick Nguku1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Abuja, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Ibrahim Sule Baffa, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract

Introduction: Lassa hemorrhagic fever is caused by the Lassa virus. The disease is endemic in Nigeria and many West African countries. Nigeria recorded outbreak of Lassa fever from late 2015 to 2016. We described the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria to highlight the trend of morbidity and mortality, and make recommendation for future prevention.

Methods: : we did a retrospective secondary data analysis of line listed cases from affected LGAs from epidemiologic weeks 1-38 of 2016. Data was obtained from Epid division of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Results: a total of 837 cases and 98 deaths were recorded within this period. This gives a case fatality rate of 11.7%. The Lassa fever outbreak affected 28 of the 36 States of Nigeria. Out of the 774 LGAs in the country, 135 (17%) reported Lassa fever cases within the same period. The attack rate (AR) was highest at Esan central LGA of Edo State with 240.8 cases per 100,000 population, followed by Muya LGA in Niger State with 38 cases per 100,000 population, while Ikorodu and Kosofe LGAs of Lagos State had the least AR of 0.1 cases per 100,000 population. The CFR ranges from as high as 100% in some LGAs to zero in others. Only 83 (9.9%) cases were confirmed by laboratory diagnosis.

Conclusion: Nigeria had a protracted Lassa fever outbreak through most part of 2016. The outbreak affected more than half of the states in the country. Though the CFR was generally low, very high mortality levels were recorded in several LGAs. We recommend enhanced surveillance and improved laboratory diagnostic capacity for Lassa fever across the country.