Lassa fever in Guinea and Nigeria

20 July 2021

Article: 55/2904

On 4 July 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported two cases of Lassa fever since May 2021 in Guinea. The first case, in Yomou prefecture, was confirmed on 8 May 2021 and the patient subsequently died. The second case, in Beyla prefecture, was confirmed at Nzérékoré Regional Hospital on 17 June 2021, and the patient died the same day. The sub-prefecture of Bheeta in Youmou prefecture is regarded as an active outbreak area, while Yomou-Centre, Péla, Yomou and Bignamou remain on alert.

In the week ending 8 July 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported that the transmission of Lassa fever in Nigeria continues, with three new cases reported from Edo and Ondo states. From 1 January to 8 July 2021, there have been 318 confirmed cases of Lassa fever in the country, including 63 deaths. 

Lassa fever is low risk to most travellers to Guinea and Nigeria, unless living in poor sanitary conditions in rural overcrowded areas. Health care workers in these regions are at risk if appropriate infection control measures are not followed. Travellers who develop symptoms after returning from affected areas should seek immediate medical advice.

Further information and advice on viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF), including Lassa fever, is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Sources: TRAVAX, 12 July 2021 and TRAVAX, 12 July 2021