Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University

Epidemiological investigation of Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, 2018 and 2019

Elsie A Ilori1、Yuki Furuse2,3,4、Chioma C Dan-Nwafor1、Oladipupo Ipadeola5、Chikwe Ihekweazu1 et al.

(1 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 2 Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 3 Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University, 4 World Health Organization, 5 United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


#1. Epidemiologic and Clinical Features of Lassa Fever Outbreak in Nigeria, January 1–May 6, 2018
#2. Measures to control protracted large Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, 1 January to 28 April 2019

#1 Emerging Infectious Diseases (2019)
#2 Eurosurveillance (2019)


Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa causing viral hemorrhagic fever with high fatality rate. There were large outbreaks of the disease in Nigeria in 2018 and 2019. Dr Furuse, assistant professor of the Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, was deployed there as an ‘infectious disease consultant’ of the World Health Organization to support the outbreak response. Here, he published two articles in collaboration with colleagues from public health authority of the country investigating epidemiological characteristics of the outbreaks.

The outbreak in 2018 was the largest in the history of the disease with >600 cases including >150 deaths. In the first paper (#1), the authors reported geographical and temporal spread of the disease. They also revealed characteristic clinical symptoms of the disease, risk factors for the infection, and effectiveness of an antiviral during the outbreak. In the second paper (#2), the authors reported situation of the 2019 outbreak and response activities implemented to control that.
Those articles described previously unappreciated impact of the disease and emphasized importance of further research and investment for the disease.


Figure. Meeting with director general of public health authority