KZN man dies of Lassa fever after Nigeria visit

KZN man dies of Lassa fever after Nigeria visit

A KwaZulu-Natal man has died after he was diagnosed with Lassa fever.

Morgue Generic
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Health officials confirmed his death follows a visit to Nigeria.


The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says no secondary cases have since been detected, with tracing of all possible contacts now underway.


It’s believed the man fell ill after arriving back in the country and was hospitalised in Pietermaritzburg, use of Durban.


The virus is found in certain rats and can be transmitted to humans.


However, the NICD says person-to-person transmission is not common, and mostly associated with the hospital-setting where healthcare workers have contact with the infected blood and bodily fluids of a patient.


“Lassa fever is a viral infection that is endemic to the West African countries and mostly reported from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Lassa fever is less frequently reported from Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Ivory Coast. Up to 300 000 cases of Lassa fever, with about 5000 deaths, are recorded annually in the endemic countries. 


“Currently there is no vaccine for Lassa fever,” NICD added in a statement on Friday. 


LISTEN TO more news Jacaranda
Jacaranda FM

Show's Stories