Conference abstract

Lassa fever outbreak and challenges of effective infection control in an isolation ward, Edo State, 2016

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(51).05 Apr 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.51.633
Archived on: 05 Apr 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Lassa fever, haemorrhagic, epidemic-prone, viral
Opening ceremony

Lassa fever outbreak and challenges of effective infection control in an isolation ward, Edo State, 2016

Bountain Welcome Tebeda1,&, Bosede Alowooye1, Jude Owujei1, Adebola Olayinka1,2, Patrick Nguku1, Danny Asogun3

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University and Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria, 3Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Bountain Welcome Tebeda, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria


Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is an epidemic-prone viral haemorrhagic disease caused by the Lassa virus. However, prompt patientsí isolation, good infection control practices and contact tracing are important in outbreak control. On January 8, 2016, the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health was alerted of an ongoing outbreak of Lassa fever across states including Edo State. We investigated to establish the existence of the outbreak, contact tracing, monitoring, described the outbreak and assessed infection control measures in Edo State.

Methods: we did a descriptive study of confirmed LF cases of Edo State from 23rd December 2015 to February 2016. Active contact tracing and laboratory surveillance were used to detect suspected and confirmed Lassa fever cases. Infection prevention and control checklist was used to assess infection control of the Lassa fever institute isolation ward. Patientsí bio-data were collected from structured questionnaires applied on patientís relatives, Lassa fever laboratory register and survey forms. Data was analyzed with Epi Info 7 and the outbreak described by person, place and time. Univariate analysis was expressed as frequency distribution, percentages, median, interquartile range and rate.

Results: a total of 359 suspected cases were screened of which 29 (8%) tested positive for Lassa virus. Case fatality rate was 9 (31%). The median age of cases was 30 years (IQR = 25 - 47), 17 (58.6%) were males, and 13 (44.8%) were students. Ten LGAs were affected including Etsako West LGA 12 (41%) of cases. During the outbreak period, 179 contacts were monitored. Clinical presentations included redness of the eyes (79%), haematuria (69%), and facial oedema (52%). Infection control assessment of 15 items revealed 7 (46.7%) not available in the isolation ward.

Conclusion: good infection prevention and control at the isolation ward challenged by an initial unavailability of some infection control items. Active contact tracing, prompt patientsí isolation, and surveillance helped in control and detection of the outbreak. Continuous community awareness, good infection control practices, and active surveillance may prevent and detect early outbreaks.