By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Ongoing outbreaks of Lassa fever and monkeypox in Nigeria has prompted the continuance of travel notices issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has declared an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria 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.
From 1 January – 14 July 2019, a total of 639 cases (622 confirmed and 17 probable) with 157 deaths
were reported across the country.
Eighty-three Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 22 states have reported at least one confirmed case since the beginning of 2019.
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.
In addition, there is an ongoing outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria. Since September 2017, 328 total cases (132 confirmed) and seven fatalities have been reported.
In late 2018, three travelers infected with monkeypox in Nigeria returned home (two to the United Kingdom and one to Israel). There was also a reported secondary case of the disease in a health care worker in the United Kingdom. Most recently, in May 2019, the Singapore Ministry of Health reported a fourth exported case of the disease in a traveler who arrived from Nigeria. These are the first cases of monkeypox reported outside Africa since 2003.
Because monkeypox spreads through contact with animals or humans infected with the virus, CDC advises travelers to Nigeria to take the following steps to prevent illness:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Avoid close contact with ill people.
- Avoid contact with wild animals or wild animal products or meat (such as bushmeat) that could harbor the virus (including sick or dead animals found in areas where monkeypox occurs).
- Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick person or animal.