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Lassa fever in Nigeria (Update 1)

14 Feb 2020

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control the outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria continues, with 1708 suspected cases (472 confirmed) including 70 deaths reported from 26 states across the country in between 01 January 2020 and 09 February 2020. The affected states are Abia, Abuja. Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto and Taraba.

Advice for Travellers

Lassa fever presents a low risk to typical 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.