Since the beginning of the year, a total of 1121 suspected Lassa fever cases, including 110 fatalities have been reported from 18 Nigerian states.
Most cases have been found in Edo and Ondo states in southwest Nigeria.
The Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for Nigeria.
Lassa fever is spread primarily by rats. Rats that carry the Lassa fever virus live in homes and areas where food is stored. People usually become ill with Lassa fever after direct contact with rat droppings or urine and through touching objects or eating food contaminated with rat droppings or urine.
Lassa fever may also spread when a person comes into contact with an infected person’s blood, tissue, or body fluids, especially when that person is seriously ill.
Travelers to Nigeria should avoid contact with rats, especially rat urine and feces, and take precautions to keep their accommodations or campsites clean. Travelers should also wash hands often, and avoid contact with people who are sick.
Travelers who develop serious symptoms consistent with Lassa fever should seek immediate medical care OR should contact a doctor right away.