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Lassa fever in Nigeria

31 Jan 2020

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Controlhas reported 95 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in the first 4 weeks of 2020. These were reported from 19 states: Ondo, Edo, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kano, Borno, Nasarawa, Kogi, Rivers, Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Delta, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Osun and Ogun.

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 where the reservoir host is usually found. Lassa fever is a zoonotic viral disease transmitted via the excreta of an infected Mastomys rat. Unhygienic conditions should be avoided.

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 information see Viral Haemorrhagic Fever.