Lassa Fever strikes health care workers in Ebonyi, Nigeria

Sixteen health care workers, including 11 doctors and 5 nurses, have been infected with Lassa Fever after caring for a pregnant woman who died from this disease. Six of the cases have positive laboratory tests. Lassa fever is now a serious problem in 23 of the 36 states of Nigeria. While most Lassa fever infections are usually mild or have no symptoms, about 20 percent of the cases have severe, often fatal illnesses.

Since 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 such as frequent hand washing and avoid contact with sick patients.

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

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