Lassa fever’s intensification

The Feb 9 WHO weekly bulletin summarised the troubling Lassa virus situation as cases continue to increase in an ‘unprecedented manner’ and four states with no history of cases are now affected (Kano, Federal Capital Territory, Kebbi and Anambra); the peak season continues until April. Three states have recorded over three-quarters of Lassa virus cases – Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi. Of note, the outbreaks in Liberia and Sierra Leone are not linked to those in Nigeria. Read more

Advice for travellers

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in West Africa, notably in Nigeria, Guinea, and Liberia. As many as 300,000 cases and 5,000 deaths occur each year. However, Lassa is a remote risk for most travellers. Rodents shed the virus in urine and droppings and it is spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of an infected person. Read more about Lassa fever.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.