Lassa fever - growing public health problem in Nigeria - update

Lassa fever is becoming a significant and growing public health problem in several states. To date there have been 283 suspected and confirmed cases with 82 deaths. States reporting sporadic newly infected people include Osun, Gombe, Niger, Kano, Rivers, Oyo, Plateau, Nassarawa, Ondo, Ebonyi, and Ekiti.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Lassa Fever.

Advice For Travellers

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. Travellers should avoid contact with rats, especially rat urine and faeces. Travellers should also practice careful personal hygiene with frequent hand washing 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.

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