Lassa fever news – live: UK reports first death of Ebola-like virus as two others infected

Health officials on Sunday confirmed first death due to Lassa fever in the UK, even as the country relaxed its Covid-19 restrictions amid slowing daily count.

At least three cases have been reported this week in the UK so far, even as the risk to public health from Lassa fever remains very low, said UK Health Security Agency.

Experts have said that Lassa virus is not transmitted via airborne infection, but through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, unlike Covid.

“Lassa fever is a serious infection, but is nothing like as infectious as Covid-19. Previous studies have estimated the R number of Lassa to be roughly between 1.0 and 1.6,” said Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton.

And, in a significant development, one hospital in the east of England has declared a major incident after a testing a drive for workers in hospitals treating Lassa fever cases to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Hospital services, as a result, are likely to be affected and patients who are affected by this virus will be contacted directly, the NHS England has said.

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