In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Lassa Fever Research project, the WHO support team with a specialist from CDC has assessed the extent and severity of the outbreak after making field trips to Kailahun and Kenema Districts during 26 and 27 May.
WHO has provided drugs and supplies for hospitalized patients through the District Medical Officer in Kenema and specialized nursing support from CDC, Atlanta has been given.
Over 40 health personnel from the two districts affected attended a workshop organized by the team which reviewed:- basic epidemiological concepts, the need for surveillance and the epidemiology and control of Lassa Fever. A demonstration of barrier nursing techniqueswas also given.
The conclusion of the WHO support mission is that a major epidemic of Lassa Fever has occurred in Kailahun and Kenema Districts and is continuing as unusually large numbers of severely ill patients are still being admitted to hospital, with a large number of deaths still occurring.
A total of 167 cases and 60 deaths have been recorded during the period January to 28 May 1996.