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Nigeria’s largest Lassa fever outbreak sparked by rats – 17 October 2018

Analysis calms fears that the virus had mutated into a super-bug that could move more easily from person to person.

Rats fuelled the largest outbreak of deadly Lassa fever in Nigeria this year, according to the most extensive and rapid genomic analysis of the Lassa virus conducted thus far.

The study , published on 17 October in the New England Journal of Medicine, eases fears that Lassa had mutated into a super-bug that was spreading swiftly between people. Instead, the viral genomes harvested from 220 patients were surprisingly diverse, indicating that most people had not acquired their infections from someone else.

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