Conference abstract

Outbreak of lassa fever in Taraba State, Nigeria, 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2018:8(53).05 Apr 2018.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2018.8.53.635
Archived on: 05 Apr 2018
Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Lassa fever, zoonoses, outbreak, rats, fever
Opening ceremony

Outbreak of lassa fever in Taraba State, Nigeria, 2017

Mansur Saleh Ashafa1,&, Nwaekpe Chinenye1, Nwankiti Amarachi1, Yashe Usman2, Abaye Bio1, Ameh Celestine1, Olayinka Adebola1, Onyedibe Kenneth3

1Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Abuja, Nigeria, 2Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria, 3Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

&Corresponding author
Mansur Saleh Ashafa, Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria


Introduction: Lassa fever (LF) is an acute, highly infectious, viral haemorrhagic fever caused by Lassa virus. It is endemic in parts of West Africa. It is a zoonotic disease, person-to-person and laboratory transmissions are common, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures. An outbreak of Lassa fever was reported in November 2016 in Taraba State, Nigeria. We confirmed the outbreak, determined its extent, characterized the outbreak and instituted public health actions.

Methods: during the outbreak, a case was defined as any person resident in Taraba State with severe febrile illness that is not responsive to the usual therapy for causes of fever in the area with or without sore throat and at least one of the following; bloody stools, bloody vomiting, bleeding into the skin and unexplained bleeding from the nose, vagina or eyes from 1st November 2016. Hospital records and surveillance reports were reviewed. The outbreak was described by time, place and person. Data was analyzed using Microsoft excel.

Results: the first case occurred in November, peaked in December and decreased in January with highest (36%) in Karim Lamido LGA. Seven LGAs were affected, 3 had confirmed cases. Number of cases was highest among 21 - 30 years old, Male to female ratio among cases was 2:1 (16:8) and male to female ratio among confirmed cases is 3:1 (6:2). Twenty-five suspected cases and 187 contacts were line listed. There were 8 laboratory-confirmed cases and 2 deaths (case fatality rate of 25%) between 25th November 2016 and 16th January 2017. There was no evidence of epidemiological linkage among cases. Open display of farm produce and consumption of rats are a common practice in all communities in the state.

Conclusion: it was a confirmed outbreak of LF. We supported the state Ministry of Health in community mobilization and sensitization on prevention and control of LF. Health care workers were sensitized on infection prevention and control. The health department implemented these recommendations, which resulted in the control of the outbreak.