Nigeria Struggles to Contain Outbreak

Nigeria’s response to a Lassa fever outbreak that has killed more than 100 since last August exposes some fault lines in the country’s public health system.

“How is it possible that Nigeria, which not too long ago was widely praised for averting the Ebola outbreak, is having trouble controlling an outbreak that occurs almost seasonally,” ask infectious disease doctors Olukemi Adekanmbi and Nahid Bhadelia? With Ebola, Nigeria had precious time to organize a response, as the virus showed up in neighboring countries first, they explain—and, the first case came into a well-equipped hospital.

With Lassa delayed diagnosis is at play, as people who lack of access to medical care appear most affected. And, the authors conclude, “perhaps Lassa does not seem to invoke the same sense of urgency in the general public.”

NPR Goats and Soda

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