England Confirms 3rd Lassa Fever Case
The U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on February 11, 2022, that the probable Lassa fever case under investigation in the East of England is now confirmed, bringing the total number of recent cases to three.
Sadly, 'this individual has died,' wrote the UKHSA.
One of the cases has recovered, while the other will receive specialist care at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
'We are contacting the individuals who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection to provide appropriate assessment, support, and advice.'
'The risk to the general public remains very low.'
Most people with Lassa fever will fully recover; however, severe illness can occur in some individuals.
Dr. Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at UKHSA, commented in a press statement,' We can confirm that two cases of Lassa fever have been identified in England, and a further probable case is under investigation.'
'The cases are within the same family and are linked to recent travel to West Africa.'
Before these three cases, eight cases of Lassa fever have been imported to the U.K. since 1980. The last 2 cases occurred in 2009.
There was no evidence of onward transmission from any of these cases
The UKHSA says it 'has well-established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be reinforced.'
As of Feb. 14, 2022, the U.S. FDA has not authorized a Lassa fever vaccine.
Update: Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 30, 2022, there were 211 lab-confirmed Lassa fever cases and 40 deaths in Nigeria.