What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Lassa Fever in a Dutch Doctor returning from Sierra Leone

22 Nov 2019

The National Institute of Public Health and Environment in the Netherlands reports (in Dutch) that a Dutch doctor is currently being treated for Lassa fever after becoming ill while working in Sierra Leone. The patient is being cared for in strict isolation in the University Medical Centre in Leiden.

Advice for Travellers

Lassa fever presents a low risk for most travellers to west African countries, unless living in conditions of poor sanitation and overcrowding in rural areas. Lassa fever is a viral disease transmitted via the excreta of an infected Mastomys rat.

Healthcare workers can also be risk at risk of infection: strict infection control and barrier nursing methods must be maintained at all times.

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.

For further informations see Viral Haemorrhagic Fever.