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NCDC scales up Lassa fever response in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has worked out modalities in response to the Lassa fever outbreaks across the country to strengthen rapid containment of the disease.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General, NCDC, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday, in Abuja, while giving an update of the outbreak.

He said risk communication activities by the centre on radio, television, print, social media and applying other strategies including community engagement would be deployed for the engagement.

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Ihekweazu reassured Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), through the NCDC wqas committed to protecting the health of the people from threat of infectious diseases.

The director general urged the public to share information only from verifiable sources, to avoid the spread of rumours, panic and fear.

He noted that health security was a responsibility cut out for every Nigerian, health care workers, the government, private sector and the public.

Ihekweazu disclosed that the NCDC has expanded its diagnostic capacity for Lassa fever and would continue to increase awareness.

“To stop Lassa fever, Nigerians must focus more on improving environmental sanitation to avoid contact with rats,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the week seven reports of the outbreak by NCDC, between Jan. 1 and Feb. 16, confirmed 586 cases of Lassa fever with 103 deaths from 26 states.

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