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Lassa Fever in Nigeria (Update 6)

10 May 2018

The World Health Organisation reports that from the beginning of the year to 6 May 2018, 1 894 suspected cases have been reported in 21 states. However, 1 460 of these have had negative test results ie they are not cases.

There have  been 423 confirmed cases, 10 probable cases and 1 still under investigation. Of these cases, 116 have died.

Confirmed cases have been recorded in 21 states:Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia and Adamawa.

The outbreak remains active only in Ebonyi, Edo and Ondo, where 81% of all confirmed cases have occurred.

Advice for Travellers

Lassa fever presents a low risk to most travellers unless they are living in poor sanitary conditions with overcrowding in rural areas where the host is usually found. Lassa fever is a zoonotic viral disease transmitted via the excreta of an infected Mastomys rat. Healthcare workers are at risk if good infection control and barrier nursing methods are not maintained.

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.