Emergencies preparedness, response

2000 - Imported case of Lassa fever in the Netherlands

25 July 2000

Disease Outbreak Reported

Health officials in The Netherlands recently notified WHO about an imported case of Lassa fever. A man, working as a surgeon in Sierra Leone (outside the capital Freetown) became ill with fever on 11 July, returned to The Netherlands the following day and was hospitalized. On 22 July, the virologic diagnosis of Lassa fever was confirmed by the Bernard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany. The Dutch health authorities have taken the appropriate measures to prevent transmission of the virus from the infected patient.

The patient traveled from Freetown to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire via Monrovia, Liberia and then to Amsterdam. The airline company that brought the patient from Abidjan to Amsterdam has been informed and will notify passengers that have been seated close to the patient, and the cabin attendants. WHO is contacting the airline that transported the patient in Africa.

This is the fourth case of Lassa fever imported into Europe this year: see previous reports, 4 April, 14 March, 13 March, 18 January and 13 January