Lassa fever carried back to Sweden

Lassa fever has arrived on Sweden's shores via a traveling woman. | Courtesy of Shutterstock

A 73-year-old woman returning from travels in several African countries has been diagnosed with Lassa fever.

Lassa fever is a virus endemic to Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which features symptoms such as fever, chills, joint pain, headache and diarrhea.

The case was confirmed by the Public Health Agency of Sweden after testing, and was subsequently reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the National IHR Focal Point for Sweden.

The woman returned to Sweden in early March after several weeks of travel in Liberia, Monrovia, Yekeba and other African locations. Officials said that, in Liberia, the woman was exposed to rodents, who are the most common vectors for the virus.

Approximately 1 percent of people who contract Lassa fever die.

WHO officials said they are following up with 74 contacts who may have been in a position to contract the virus from the woman, who was placed in isolation.

Organizations in this story

World Health Organization - Disease Outbreak News ,

World Health Organization 20 Avenue Appia Geneva, GE 01202

Get notified the next time we write about any of these organizations!