Nigeria: Govt Declares War On Lassa Fever, Coronavirus

A transmission electron micrograph of a number of Lassa virus virions adjacent to some cell debris. The virus, a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, causes Lassa fever.
29 January 2020

Federal Government yesterday expressed its determination to stop the spread of Lassa fever which has claimed many lives in parts of the country since the beginning of this year.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the government had heightened response against the current Lassa fever outbreak across the country.

He said his ministry had the capacity to detect, assess and respond to coronavirus and other public health threats.

He said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control had set up a "Corona Virus Preparedness Group" and was ready to activate its incident command system for coronavirus, "if a suspect case emerges in Nigeria."

He said there was high-level inter-ministerial consultation towards setting up a multi-sectoral committee to scale up surveillance and vigilance to detect suspicious cases and ensure containment at all points.

He said the Port Health Services of the ministry was currently implementing measures at international points of entry-airports, seaports and land borders-to forestall importation of the coronavirus to Nigeria.

Director, Prevention and Programmes Coordination of the NCDC, Joshua Obasanya, stressed the need for a Lassa fever vaccine to fully tackle the epidemic in the country.

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