For the first time in nearly a year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the travel advisory for Nigeria due to the Lassa fever outbreak.

Nigeria map/CIA

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has declared an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria on January 22 due to an increase in the number of cases reported across the country since the beginning of the year. Cases have been identified in several states. Most cases have been found in Edo and Ondo states (65 percent).

Since the beginning of the year, 327 cases of Lassa fever (324 confirmed cases and three probable cases) with 72 deaths (case fatality ratio = 22%) have been reported across 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory, according to the World Health Organization.

Officials also report 12 likely nosocomial infections in health workers in the current outbreak.

What can travelers do to prevent Lassa fever?

Travelers to Nigeria should avoid contact with rats, especially rat urine and feces, and take precautions to keep their accommodations clean and free of rodents. . If you need to clean up after rodents, take the proper steps to avoid getting sick. Travelers should also wash hands often, and avoid contact with people who are sick.

Travelers who develop fever or other serious symptoms of Lassa fever during or after their trip should see a doctor right away. They should tell the doctor where they traveled in Nigeria and whether they had contact with a rodent or sick person.