Lassa fever transmitted to Germany, followed by secondary case

Two cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed in Germany.
Two cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed in Germany.

The first cases of Lassa fever were reported in Germany between March 10 and 16 by the World Health Organization. 

In addition, 52 more possible cases of Lassa fever are currently awaiting confirmation, though 28 of the patients have already passed the 21-day incubation period.

The original case came from Togo to Cologne through an evacuation on Feb. 25; the patient then died a day later, and Lassa fever was confirmed as the source of death through autopsy. The second case, a funeral home employee, contracted the infection from the corpse of the first case, though the employee is certain he wore gloves and did not touch any of the corpse's fluids. As of right now, the upper respiratory infection had while handling the corpse is suspected; after the patient's conditions persisted, he was quarantined in a special isolation unit with four of his family members in Frankfurt on March 15.

The infection probability for all of Germany is very low, as it was the first secondary transmission to be recorded in Europe. Due to this secondary infection, WHO urges those caring for patients with Lassa fever to take extra precautions.

Organizations in this story

World Health Organization - Disease Outbreak News

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