Concerns As Lassa Fever Kills One in UK

Story Highlights
  • UKHSA reports first death due to Lassa fever.
  • Three individuals affected over all.
  • Lassa Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness

United Kingdom: As the world battled the Omicron led-surge, a new cause of concern has been reported from Britain.  Health authorities announced the death of an individual due to Lassa Fever. The patient died at a hospital in Bedfordshire, north of London, authorities added.

According to preliminary investigations, there are three cases of the Ebola-like virus from a family with a recent travel history to West Africa. Works are being carried out to trace the contacts of these three, officials from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

The UKHSA has confirmed that two other people had been diagnosed with the disease. One of the confirmed cases recovered, while the second was receiving specialist treatment at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in the north of the British capital. The hospital has a secure unit that specialises in the treatment of viral haemorrhagic fevers.

Lassa fever, an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, belongs to the same family as the Ebola and Marburg viruses but is much less deadly. It was in 1980, that UK reported eight cases of the virus. According to CDC, one can be infected if he/she gets in contact with food that is contaminated with the urine or faeces of an infected rat. It can also be spread, though rarely if a person comes in contact with a sick person’s infected bodily fluids or through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or mouth. Person-to-person transmission is more common in healthcare settings.

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