9 February 2022
A patient with Lassa fever has been admitted to the high level isolation unit (HLIU) at the Royal Free Hospital.
The HLIU is run by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, therapists and laboratory staff and is designed to ensure our staff can safely treat a patient with Lassa fever.
Lassa Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus. People usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected rats in countries where the disease is endemic. The virus can also be spread through infected bodily fluids.
Cases of Lassa fever are rare in the UK and it does not spread easily between people. Most people with Lassa Fever will make a full recovery, however severe illness can occur in some individuals.
Dr Sir Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases at the Royal Free London, said: “The Royal Free Hospital is a specialist centre for treating patients with viral haemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa fever. Our secure unit is run by a highly trained and experienced team of doctors, nurses, therapists and laboratory staff and is designed to ensure our staff can safely treat patients with these kind of infections.”