Two new outbreaks of Lassa fever - Nigeria and Benin

Since late last year, there have been reports of people infected with Lassa fever in Nigeria and Benin.

In Nigeria, health authorities have announced an outbreak of this infection with 44 deaths reported across 10 states.

In Benin, several suspected cases have been reported by at the Hospital of St Martin in Papané in the commune of Tchaourou. A total of 4 cases and 2 deaths have been registered.

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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