Lassa fever


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Lassa fever

(lăs`ə), an acute viral disease occurring mostly in W Africa, characterized by high fever, muscle aches, mouth ulcers, and bleeding in the skin in more severe cases. The disease was first recognized in Lassa, Nigeria, in 1969. The causative virus is an arenavirus and is harbored by a rat, Mastomys natalensis. The virus is spread to humans via the rat's urine in airborne droplets or contaminated food. The disease can also be caught by medical personnel treating patients in hospitals.

The incubation period of Lassa fever is 3 to 17 days. In some 80% of the cases the symptoms are mild and typically undiagnosed. In more serious cases, following fever and general malaise, later stages of the disease may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and petechiae, tiny purplish spots in the skin caused by leakage of blood from the capillaries. Heart and kidney failure may also occur in severe cases. Although only an estimated 1% die from the disease, mortality is high among those hospitalized with Lassa fever, ranging from about 15% to, among pregnant women, as much as 60%. In epidemics, however, about half of all hospitalized patients may die, and spontaneous abortion occurs in 95% of infected pregnant women. Treatment by injection of the antiviral drug ribavirin is often successful if begun early.

See also hemorrhagic feverhemorrhagic fever
, any of a group of viral diseases characterized by sudden onset, muscle and joint pain, fever, bleeding, and shock from loss of blood. Bleeding occurs in the form of leakage from capillaries in the internal organs and the skin and mucous membranes.
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Lassa fever

[′läs·ə ‚fē·vər]
(medicine)
An acute, highly communicable exotic infection that is endemic in western Africa. Caused by an arenavirus (the Lassa virus), it is characterized by high fever, weakness, headaches, mouth ulcers, hemorrhages under the skin, heart and kidney failure, and a high mortality rate.

Lassa fever

a serious viral disease of Central West Africa, characterized by high fever and muscular pains
References in periodicals archive ?
During 1969-2016, a total of 33 patients traveling from 7 West Africa countries to 9 other countries were diagnosed with Lassa fever (Appendix Table 1, https://wwwnc.cdc.
'That is the disease notification that is in place, not just for Ebola or Lassa fever, but all notifiable diseases,'' he said.
Additional members of the Nigeria Lassa Fever National Response Team: Michael Popoola, Anthony Ahumibe, Amedu M.
"WHO continues to advise all countries in the Lassa fever belt to enhance their preparedness and response capacities, especially for early case detection, laboratory confirmation, case management under recommended barrier nursing, risk communication and community engagement," Fall said.
Development of LHF-535 for Lassa fever is through Kineta Inc.'s subsidiary Kineta Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, LLC.
Lassa fever is a viral fever that causes bleeding and is spread by contact with infected rats or bodily fluids of other humans with the disease.
Based on the clinical presentation, and the fact that both were health workers in the same hospital, the hypothesis of a viral hemorrhagic fever (Lassa fever) was suggested, and the blood sample of this second patient was taken and sent to Accra at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (Ghana) and at "Centre National de Recherche des Fievres hemorragiques de l'Institut Pasteur" of Lyon (France).
"The fact that the treatment was able to rescue 100 percent of the animals more than a week after infection with Lassa virus suggests that this therapy may benefit patients with Lassa fever in West Africa, who often arrive at the clinic at a late stage of disease," said another researcher Robert Garry.
The report provides comprehensive information on the therapeutics under development for Lassa Fever, complete with analysis by stage of development, drug target, mechanism of action (MoA), route of administration (RoA) and molecule type.
Since November 2015, Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone and Togo have reported more than 300 cases of Lassa fever and 164 deaths.
[USPRwire, Fri Oct 23 2015] Global Markets Direct's, 'Arenavirus Infection Lassa Fever - Pipeline Review, H2 2015', provides an overview of the Arenavirus Infection Lassa Fever's therapeutic pipeline.
Lassa fever has a variable clinical presentation from asymptomatic or mild infection to severe fatal HF in 20% of cases.