Breaking: First UK Lassa fever death confirmed

Following reports earlier this week of three cases of the potentially dangerous Lassa Fever, the first death has now been confirmed by the UK Health Safety Agency.
A statement issued by the organisation said: “We are contacting the individuals who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection, to provide appropriate assessment, support and advice. The risk to the general public remains very low.”
A Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “We confirm the sad death of a patient at our trust, who had confirmed Lassa fever. We send our deepest condolences to their family at this difficult time.
“We will continue to support the patient’s family and our staff and are working closely with colleagues from the UK Health Security Agency to undertake a robust contact-tracing exercise.”
Whilst most people make a full recovery, severe cases can be fatal with people usually becoming infected through exposure to food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected rats.
The virus can also be spread through infected bodily fluids.
Earlier this week, Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor at UKHSA, said: “Cases of Lassa fever are rare in the UK and it does not spread easily between people.
“The overall risk to the public is very low.
“We are contacting the individuals who have had close contact with the cases prior to confirmation of their infection, to provide appropriate assessment, support and advice.”
With the first death from Lass Fever in the UK, the authorities have once again assured people that there is no risk to the general public however if you experience any of the symptoms you should contact your GP immediately.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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