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UK sends 3 nationals back home over Lassa fever

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UK sends 3 nationals back home over Lassa fever

An outbreak of Lassa fever in Sierra Leone has forced the British government to send three of its nationals back home after they came in contact with patients infected with the virus.

Health officials said the move is a precautionary measure with reports also revealing that the Public Health officials in England have also been notified that another 15 British nationals may be at risk in the West African country.

There are also reports that one of two infected Dutch nationals – both doctors working in Sierra Leone -has died from the virus.

The deceased doctor showed symptoms of Lassa fever after performing a Caesarean section.

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Dr Jake Dunning, from Public Health England, said: “It is important to emphasise that Lassa fever does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the public is very low.”

“PHE and the NHS have well established and robust infection-control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed,” he said.

Lassa fever is endemic in eastern Sierra Leone but cases have also been reported in northern and southern parts of the country in the past five years.

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