Lassa fever in Africa

This item appears on page 19 of the April 2019 issue.

The World Health Organization has declared a Lassa fever outbreak in five African countries: Nigeria, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Togo. At least 213 confirmed cases of the disease have been identified in 2019, with 42 deaths.

Lassa fever is a virus spread via contact with rodents. It causes fever, sore throat, nausea and head, chest and muscle pain. In extreme cases, it can cause bleeding from orifices and death.