ProMED: Lassa fever cases in Sierra Leone, Dutch doctor dies

Epidemics can occur anywhere, at any time.

We publish regular updates, produced by Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED), on outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases to keep you informed on the frequency and impact of our priority diseases.

ProMED is the largest publicly-available system conducting global reporting of infectious diseases outbreaks, with ProMED staff, moderators and team members scanning for, reviewing and posting information relating to global health security from official health reports and media articles.

The below post contains information from health reports, news articles, and academic papers relating to our priority diseases, compiled together by ProMED. Content below may be edited from original ProMED posts for style and length.

These posts provide an overview of disease outbreak activity over the past several weeks. For the latest information relating to outbreaks of infectious diseases, please visit the ProMED website.

Lassa fever


Sierra Leone

Outbreak Update

A Dutch doctor who was evacuated from Sierra Leone after contracting Lassa fever has died in hospital. The medic was flown home on Tuesday 19 November, after being infected in the northern town of Masanga, an area not previously known to have been affected. A second doctor who was also evacuated is being treated for the disease.

In Nigeria, 10 new confirmed cases were reported over the past week. From 1 January to 10 November 2019, a total of 4500 suspected cases have been reported from 23 states. Of these, 764 were confirmed positive, 19 probable and 3717 negative (not a case). Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 160 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 20.9%. The male to female ratio for confirmed cases is 1:1 and a total of 19 health care workers have been infected since the onset of the outbreak.

The National Lassa Fever Multi-Partner, Multi-Sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG) continues to coordinate response activities at all levels in Nigeria. 15 patients are currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country and a total of 8400 contacts have been identified.


BBC News, 24 November 2019

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 10 November 2019

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Democratic Republic of Congo

Outbreak Update

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the cumulative number of cases is 3296, of which 3178 are confirmed and 118 are probable. In total, there were 2197 deaths (2079 confirmed and 118 probable) and 1074 people healed.
- 544 suspected cases under investigation;
- No new confirmed cases;
- 1 new death of confirmed cases in the CTE in North Kivu in Beni; no new community deaths have been recorded;
- 4 people healed from CTE in North Kivu in Mabalako;
- No health worker is among the new confirmed cases. The cumulative number of confirmed / probable cases among health workers is 163 (5% of all confirmed / probable cases), including 41 deaths.

To date, 254 151 people have been vaccinated with rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine produced by Merck and 243 have been vaccinated with the second Ebola vaccine, produced by Johnson & Johnson.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the total number of travelers checked at the sanitary control points is 118 357 153.


CMRE Epidemiological Situation Update, 21 November 2019

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