Lassa Fever in Nigeria

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

As the COVID-19 situation around the world changes, CDC is monitoring COVID-19 risk in each country and making travel recommendations. If you are considering international travel, see CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Key points

  • There is an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria in Ondo, Edo, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kogi, Taraba, Enugu, Benue, Gombe, Nasarawa, and Delta States.
  • To prevent Lassa fever, travelers to Nigeria should avoid contact with rodents, as well as food and materials that could be contaminated with rodent urine or droppings.
  • Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop (during or after travel) fever, chills, headache, bleeding, general body aches, vomiting, or trouble breathing. Treatment with an antiviral medicine called ribavirin is most effective during the early stages of illness.  

Traveler Information

Clinician Information

Map of Lassa fever in Nigeria
Map: Lassa fever in Nigeria (see larger map)
What is Lassa fever?

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever spread through contact with infected rodents or their urine or droppings. Lassa fever can also be spread from person to person through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.

Symptoms of Lassa fever (fever, chills, headache, and fatigue) develop 1-3 weeks after infection. About 20% of people infected with Lassa fever develop severe illness that can lead to hemorrhaging (bleeding), respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and sometimes death.