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01.12.2019 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2019

Investigation of a cross-border case of Lassa fever in West Africa

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2019
Mory Keïta, Georges Alfred Kizerbo, Lorenzo Subissi, Fodé Amara Traoré, Ahmadou Doré, Mohamed Fode Camara, Ahmadou Barry, Raymond Pallawo, Mamadou Oury Baldé, Nfaly Magassouba, Mamoudou Harouna Djingarey, Ibrahima Socé Fall
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Infectious disease prevention and control strategies require a coordinated, transnational approach. To establish core capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHR), the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy. Epidemic-prone Lassa fever, caused by Lassa virus, is an endemic disease in the West African countries of Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria. It’s one of the major public health threats in these countries. Here it is reported an epidemiological investigation of a cross-border case of Lassa fever, which demonstrated the importance of strengthened capacities of IHR and IDSR.

Case presentation

On January 9th, 2018 a 35-year-old Guinean woman with fever, neck pain, body pain, and vomiting went to a hospital in Ganta, Liberia. Over the course of her illness, the case visited various health care facilities in both Liberia and Guinea. A sample collected on January 10th was tested positive for Lassa virus by RT-PCR in a Liberian laboratory.
The Guinean Ministry of Health (MoH) was officially informed by WHO Country Office for Guinea and for Liberia.


This case report revealed how an epidemic-prone disease such as Lassa fever can rapidly spread across land borders and how such threat can be quickly controlled with communication and collaboration within the IHR framework.
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