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Lassa Fever in Nigeria (Update)

29 Dec 2016

A media reportLink of 25 December 2016 asserts that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed the largest outbreaks of Lassa fever ever recorded between 2015 and 2016, with 273 cases reported resulting in 149 deaths. The cases were reported from 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

In response the Minister of Health established a Lassa Fever Eradication Committee which is tasked with finding solutions to prevent future outbreaks and reduce the deaths from the disease.

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 zoonotic viral disease transmitted via the excreta of an infected Mastomys rat. 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.