The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has reported continuous occurrence of Lassa fever throughout 2023. From the beginning of 2023 to the middle of December there were 1201 confirmed cases, including 210 deaths. A further 8800 suspected cases were reported.
During 2023, 28 States recorded at least one confirmed case. Seventy-six percent (76%) of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo and Bauchi States.
Lassa fever is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) endemic in parts of West Africa. Lassa virus is transmitted via the urine or droppings from infected rodents (Mastomys rats). Transmission can also occur via body fluids of infected people.
The risk to travellers becoming infected or developing Lassa fever is extremely low, unless living in conditions of poor sanitation and overcrowding in rural areas where these rodents are usually found.
Travellers to known Lassa fever outbreak areas must be made aware of the risk of infection and transmission routes of Lassa virus which is most commonly through:
Medical personnel travelling to work in an outbreak region must follow strict infection prevention control guidance.
Travellers returning from a Lassa fever outbreak area should seek rapid medical attention by contacting NHS 24 (Scotland) or NHS 111 (rest of UK) for advice prior to attending UK medical facilities if they develop fever and have:
For further information, see the TRAVAX Viral Haemorrhagic Fever page.