Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is a viral infection contracted through exposure to the urine and faeces of infected rats. Person-to-person transmission has been reported, particularly in Healthcare-associated settings with inadequate infection control measures. The incubation period of the virus is between three and 21 days.


Early Symptoms: When symptoms are present, fever and general weakness are generally first reported which is followed by headaches, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

Severe Symptoms: Swelling of the face and bleeding from all body openings are severe signs of this disease.


No vaccine is available to prevent Lassa fever so avoidance of endemic areas is recommended.


Although the risk to international travellers is extremely low, the existence of this disease nevertheless underscores the importance of seeking medical attention for any fever while travelling in high-risk areas. Antiviral treatments can be used in the early stages of the disease.