Research Article

Viral infections in travellers from tropical Africa.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 15 April 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:956
  1. A W Woodruff,
  2. E T Bowen,
  3. G S Platt


    Examination of sera from 86 travellers to Britain from tropical Africa disclosed evidence of past infection with 10 identifiable viruses, of which the most important were O'nyong-nyong, dengue, chikungunya, and Ntaya. The findings indicate that infection with O'nyong-nyong may be acquired sporadically in Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, where it has not previously been identified. Chikungunya infection had not been recorded in West Africa other than Nigeria and Senegal. Patients from Sierra Leone and contiguous Liberia had antibodies to this infection. An outbread of dengue fever in the Seychelles in early 1977 was confirmed. Ntaya virus, though known in Uganda, Cameroon, and Zaire, appears also to be transmitted in Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia. Clinical studies indicated that chikungunya infection may present with alimentary features, possibly with jaundice. The clinical features of Ntaya infection may include kizarre neurological manifestations in addition to fever. The absence of Lassa antibodies among these travellers suggested that this infection is not a common hazard among such persons.