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LASSA FEVER: NCDC declares emergency phase over

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Tuesday the emergency phase of Lassa fever outbreak was over following the decline in the number of cases in the country.

The centre, however, urged Nigerians to observe strict hygiene protocol in order to effectively tackle the disease that had killed 188 people in the country between January 1 and April 5 this year.

The NCDC said in a statement issued by its communication unit that in the last four months, it had led the Lassa fever response activities across the country in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Response.

It warned that without a vaccine for Lassa fever, Nigeria still remained at the risk of the disease.

The statement read: “The NCDC has declared the emergency phase of the 2020 Lassa fever outbreak over. This is following a successive decline in cases below the emergency threshold and an epidemiological review carried out by the NCDC and the World Health Organisation.

“Our message to Nigerians remains to sustain the practice of good personal hygiene, that is, always wash your hands with soap and water, keep your environment clean and rodent-free to prevent the spread of Lassa fever.

“On the 24th of January 2020, the NCDC declared a Lassa fever outbreak and activated a national Lassa fever Emergency Operations Centre. This was in response to an increase in Lassa fever cases at the beginning of the year, exceeding the threshold for an outbreak.”

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“Since the beginning of the outbreak, 979 confirmed cases, including 188 deaths, have been recorded from 27 states, including the Federal Capital Territory as of 19th of April, 2020. The Lassa fever case count has significantly declined in the last three weeks and has now dropped below levels considered to be a national emergency.”

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