UK: First death from Lassa fever sparks tensions amid covid surge


Britain health authorities announced a death case of Lassa fever; while the whole of the world is battling with the global coronavirus, Britain might be looking forward to a new cause of concern; the first three cases of Lassa fever were registered in 2009.

All three infected people are from the same family in eastern England; they were hospitalized at Bedfordshire, north of London. The family members recently travelled to West Africa.


The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed two infection cases of Lassa fever. Patients receive special treatment at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in the north of the British capital.

As per the Centres for Disease Control and Pollution (CDC), the Lassa fever was first found in 1969 in West Africa in Lassa, Nigeria. The rats circulate the Lassa fever; in countries including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria, where it is endemic.

A person can get infected if they contact the household items contaminated with the urine or feces of an infected rat.

It can also be transferred if a person comes in contact with infected bodily fluids or through mucous membranes of a sick person, including the eyes, nose or mouth. Person-to-person transmission is more common in healthcare settings.

The mild symptom of Lassa fever includes slight fever, fatigue, weakness, headache and more severe symptoms such as bleeding, breathing issues, vomiting, face swelling, chest, back and abdomen pain.

According to the CDC, the most common complication associated with fever is deafness. In many such cases, the hearing loss can be permanent.


The best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid contact with rats. This means avoiding contact with rats not only in places where the disease is endemic but also maintaining cleanliness in other areas to prevent rats from entering the home, keeping food in rat-proof containers, and keeping rats clean. By casting traps, the CDC advises.


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