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Two Viral Zoonotic Diseases Journalists Should Know About: A Webinar on Lassa Fever and Nipah Virus

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News headlines worldwide have been dominated by Covid-19 and monkeypox, yet other virus outbreaks are also occurring. In Africa, one such virus that has caused serious illness and death is Lassa fever, and in Asia, Nipah virus has caused both deaths and widespread panic in local communities. Both of these diseases have “pandemic potential”: the ability to trigger a disruptive global outbreak.

Outbreaks like these are frequently marked by uncertainty, confusion and a sense of urgency. Good and responsible reporting is essential to spread awareness and protect communities, and journalists require an in-depth understanding of the disease, the environment and the drivers of the outbreak in order to do so. This webinar explored the science behind Lassa fever and Nipah virus, highlighted the challenges journalists may face while reporting and shared tips on how to cover these outbreaks effectively.

The webinar featured speakers from the media and from STOP Spillover, a global project working to enhance global understanding and addressing the risks posed by known zoonotic viruses.


  • Vivian Lymas Tegli — Technical Lead for Liberia in STOP Spillover’s Wildlife, Livestock, Epidemiology, Behavior Change, and Gender Strategy Resource Hub (email)
  • Tracy N. Pency — Technical Officer in STOP Spillover's Risk Analysis and Communication Resource Hub (email)
  • Dr. Nitish Debnath — veterinarian, member of the World Health Organization's One Health High Level Expert Panel and a One Health pioneer (email)
  • Shamsuddin Illius — senior journalist and Bureau Chief, Chittagong at The Business Standard, Bangladesh (email)


  • Stella Paul — Environment and Health Project Officer and STOP Spillover Project Manager, Earth Journalism Network

Please click on the speakers' names to download their presentations.