First reports of Lassa Fever in Ogun State, Nigeria

Health officials in the state of Ogun have reported that a nurse and a mortuary attendant have died from Lassa fever after they provided care for a patient who also died from this infection. Although further cases are not expected, a special treatment centre has been established if more cases are diagnosed.

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Advice For Travellers

Lassa fever occurs with some frequency in Nigeria. However, the risk for the general traveller is low. All the reported cases have occurred sporadically and are dispersed across multiple states. This infection is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items that are contaminated with rodent excreta or through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Travellers should avoid contact with rats, especially their urine and faeces. Travellers should also practice careful personal hygiene by washing their hands frequently especially when caring for sick patients who might have this infection. Although most infections are mild, Lassa fever can be a severe viral haemorrhagic illness in 1 out of every 5 infected people.