Event Updated Country Hazard Disease Event Description IHR Assessment
2018-01-29 Liberia Infectious Lassa Fever On 9 January 2018, a 37-year-old female from Guinea presented with fever, neck pain, body pain, and vomiting to a hospital in Ganta, Liberia. While ill, the case visited various healthcare facilities in both Liberia and Guinea. She fell ill on 29 December 2017 in Ganta (Liberia) and returned to Guinea to seek medical care at health facilities in Diécké, N’Zérékore region, where she was treated for typhoid and malaria. Her symptoms persisted, and her husband brought her to a hospital in Ganta (Liberia) on 9 January 2018, where she was admitted and treated with Ribavirin until her death on 11 January.  A specimen collected from her on 10 January was sent to the National Reference Laboratory in Liberia and was confirmed positive for Lassa fever by RT-PCR. A safe and dignified burial of the case was performed in Nimba County, Liberia by the hospital’s burial team.


Twenty-eight contacts were identified in Liberia, including 16 from the Ganta hospital and 12 family members. In parallel, twenty-eight contacts including 22 healthcare workers were identified at Soguipa and Diécké medical centres in Guinea. As of 18 January 2018, two of her contacts in Liberia were symptomatic, but both tested negative for Lassa fever by RT-PCR. The other contacts are continuing to be monitored for a 21-day period in Liberia and Guinea.


Lassa fever is endemic in Liberia, and since the beginning of 2017 to 23 January 2018, 91 suspected cases have been reported from 6 counties, including Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, and Nimba, where the most recent case was reported. Thirty-three of these cases were confirmed and 15 deaths were reported among confirmed cases (case fatality rate: 45.4%).

Public Health Risk (PHR) *


*A public health risk is something that is (or is likely to be) hazardous to human health or could contribute to a disease or an infectious condition in humans.