In a follow-up to a report in November, Benin’s health minister announced earlier this month that the Lassa fever outbreak was over, according to a ReliefWeb report (computer translated).
Minister of health, Professor Dorothee Kinde Gazard made the official announcement on Jan. 8.
After cases of Lassa fever were reported in the health center of Tanguieta-Materi-Cobly in the north of Benin, Atakora Department, the Government, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF), Plan Benin and the partners of development immediately started a response against the outbreak.
“Between 15 Oct-24 Nov 2014, 16 cases were recorded including 9 deaths. Of these 9 deaths, Lassa fever was confirmed in 2 of the 4 fatal cases among healthcare givers,” the Minister of Health said in her official statement.
The response was articulated around support for the sick, the active search for new cases in the community, the search for persons having been in contact with patients and the prevention among the population. After suspected cases were reported, samples were taken and sent to reference laboratories.
“These tests carried out in laboratories in Lagos and Hamburg confirmed the virus in 2 patients who died and confirmed the diagnosis of a recent virus infection of Lassa fever in 2 survivors at the CDC in Atlanta,” said Professor Dorothee Kinde Gazard.
“The arrival of Lassa fever in Benin showed once again that during an outbreak crisis, joint and rapid action by the Ministry of health and partners of development is a necessity. It is also important to note that despite the end of the outbreak we should not let our guard down. The population and health care workers should continue to observe basic hygiene measures,” urged Rheal Drisdelle, the Resident Representative of Plan Benin.