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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Lassa Fever in Nigeria (Update 2)

21 Feb 2018

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that the Nigerian lassa fever outbreak is continuing.

In the week ending 11 February 2018, 19 cases, including 6 deaths  were reported from across the country. The affected states are Ondo (7 cases, 2 deaths), Edo (3 cases, 1 death), Bauchi (2 cases, 2 deaths), Ebonyi (2 cases), Kogi (2 cases), Taraba (2 cases), and Nasarawa (1 case, 1 death).

From 1 January to 11 February 2018, 615 suspected cases and 57 deaths have been reported from 17 states. Fourteen healthcare workers from six states have been affected. Four of these people have died. Seventy-five percent of the confirmed cases have from Edo (45%) and Ondo (30%) states.

Advice for Travellers

Lassa fever is a low risk for most travellers unless living in poor sanitary conditions with overcrowding in rural areas where the host is usually found. Lassa fever is a viral disease transmitted via the faeces of infected rats. Healthcare workers are at risk if good infection control and barrier nursing methods are not maintained.

Travellers returning from affected areas who develop symptoms of fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain should seek medical advice.