Conference abstract

Lassa fever outbreak investigation in a tertiary health institution in Abeokuta, Ogun State, January, 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(43).01 Apr 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.43.625
Archived on: 01 Apr 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Outbreak, Lassa fever, health workers, Nigeria
Opening ceremony

Lassa fever outbreak investigation in a tertiary health institution in Abeokuta, Ogun State, January, 2017

Ime Maria Edwin Okon1,&, William Nwachukwu2, Ibidolapo Ijarotimi1, Hakeem Yusuf1, Adigun Adebayo1, Oluyomi Bamiselu3, Salimat Sanni1, Oluwadamilola Abiodun-Adewusi1, Aisha Abubakar1, Celestine Ameh1, Saheed Gidado1, Patrick Nguku1

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria, 3Ministry of Health, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Ime Maria Edwin Okon, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria


Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is a highly infectious haemorrhagic disease associated with high morbidity and mortality. Health facility spread of infection is common especially in settings with poor infection prevention and control practices. In December 2016, a LF outbreak was reported in a tertiary health facility in Ogun State which involved the death of a health worker. A team of Epidemiologists was deployed to investigate the outbreak and institute appropriate control measures.

Methods: we defined suspected, probable and confirmed cases using the national guidelines for integrated disease surveillance and response (IDSR). We conducted active case search and environmental assessment in 10 health facilities. Contact tracing was implemented, hospital and mortuary records were reviewed and line-list developed. We assessed Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices using a standard IPC checklist. Data were analyzed using Epi info version 7.2. Nineteen blood samples were collected from 14 cases and 5 high-risk contacts for virology.

Results: all tested negative for Lassa fever virus except the first index case. We traced 3 probable cases and were able to link the confirmed case to hospital exposure. Case Fatality Rate was 100% among confirmed cases. Of the 345 contacts line-listed, 314 (89.5%) were health workers, out of which, 296 (94.5%) reported regular hand washing, 47 (15%) and 100 b (32%) reported uninterrupted water supply and availability of soap respectively. IPC practices, especially waste management in the hospital was poor.

Conclusion: investigation revealed a confirmed Lassa fever outbreak with a 100% Case Fatality Rate. Source of infection strongly indicative of being hospital acquired. Infection prevention and Control practices were sub-optimal. We supported contact tracing to prevent further spread, conducted trainings and sensitization to improve infection control and instituted control measures.