Lassa fever in Nigeria

25 February 2020

Article: 54/803

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria continues, with 1,708 suspected cases (472 confirmed) including 70 deaths reported from 26 states across the country between 1 January and 9 February 2020.

Lassa fever is rare in travellers to West African countries. The risk is increased in those 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 infected Mastomys rats.

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 from NHS24 (Scotland) or NHS 111 (rest of the UK).

Further information and advice is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Source: TRAVAX, 14 February 2020