West Africa – Lassa Fever Outbreak (DG ECHO, WHO, CDC Liberia, Agence Nationale de la Sécurité Sanitaire Guinea) (ECHO Daily Flash of 12 February 2019)
Following the declaration by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control of a Lassa fever outbreak on 22 January, WHO declared a level two emergency on 4 February.
Though Lassa fever is endemic in the West Africa region, there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases this year. In four weeks, the number of cases has already reached two thirds of the total cases reported last year.
Nigeria is the most affected country, reporting 275 confirmed cases with 57 deaths. Four other countries (Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Togo) report 12 confirmed cases, including two deaths. More suspected cases are under investigation.
Six countries at risk (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Sierra Leone) have started prevention and preparedness measures.