The Chairman, Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has emphasised the need for good hygiene to prevent contracting Lassa fever and other communicable diseases.
Ihekweazu disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Enugu on Friday.
Ihekweazu said the NCDC recorded one case of Lassa fever in Enugu and five in Ebonyi between Jan 21 and Jan. 27, 2019.
He however, said no case of death had been recorded adding that the only case recorded in Enugu affected a health worker.
“Protect yourselves by ensuring your environment is clean, ensure your food is well cooked and stored, boil water before drinking and avoid open defecation.
“When cases as this which usually begins with fever and weakness occurs and later graduates to bleeding at a later stage, you can get the test and vaccines at the nearest health care centers across the country.
“However, the most effective way of preventing disease outbreak and transmission remains vaccination.
“During outbreaks such as this, NCDC works closely with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to plan and implement reactive vaccination campaigns,” he noted.
Ihekweazu said that NCDC was currently developing capacity for genomic sequencing which was a laboratory method that would provide better understanding on the viruses and bacteria in circulation.
He said NCDC’s laboratories in Abuja and Lagos and other states had the capacity to diagnose epidemic prone diseases in Nigeria such as Lassa fever, meningitis, yellow fever and measles.
“We will continue to strengthen our diagnostic capacity to ensure timely diagnosis of pathogens causing outbreaks,” he said.
The chairman pledged the continued support of NCDC to continuously detect, prevent and respond to outbreak of infectious diseases in line with its mandate in the NCDC Act.
The NCDC is the agency with the mandate to protect the health of Nigerians from threat and occurrence of infectious diseases as well as support states in preparedness and response for disease outbreak.(NAN).