Lassa fever

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Lassa fever

 [las´ah]
a highly fatal acute type of hemorrhagic fever caused by a virulent arenavirus, occurring in West Africa, and characterized by progressive prostration, sore throat, ulcerations of the mouth or throat, rash, and general aches and pains, which may be followed by serous effusions, generalized hemorrhages, and fatal shock.

Las·sa fe·ver

a severe form of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, which is usually fatal. It was first recognized in Lassa (Nigeria); caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the Arenaviridae family; is characterized by high fever, sore throat, severe muscle aches, skin rash with hemorrhages, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis serves as reservoir, but person-to-person transmission is also common.

Lassa fever

(lä′sə, lăs′ə)
n.
An acute form of hemorrhagic fever endemic to West Africa that is caused by an arenavirus transmitted by a species of rat and is characterized by fever, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms, and bleeding from the gums, and can result in deafness.

Lassa fever

[lä′sə]
Etymology: Lassa, Nigeria; L, febris, fever
a highly contagious disease of West Africa caused by an arenavirus. It is transmitted by contact with or inhalation of excreta of infected rodents. Person-to-person transmission occurs through contact with infected blood, secretions, or excreta, or transmission may be airborne. Lassa fever is characterized by fever, pharyngitis, dysphagia, and ecchymoses. Varying degrees of deafness occur in one third of cases. Pleural effusion, edema and renal involvement, mental disorientation, confusion, and death from cardiac failure often ensue. Stringent precautions are taken against the spread of infection. Early treatment with ribavirin and supportive symptomatic care are essential. See also Arenavirus, Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever.

Las·sa fe·ver

(lah'să fē'vĕr)
A severe form of epidemic hemorrhagic fever that is highly fatal. It was first recognized in Lassa, Nigeria; is caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the Arenaviridae family, and characterized by high fever, sore throat, severe muscle aches, rash with hemorrhages, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis serves as a reservoir, but person-to-person transmission is also common.

Lassa fever

An infectious disease caused by an arenavirus and first noted in 1969 in West Africa. The disease is maintained in the rat population and spread by rat urine. Lassa fever features a high temperature for 7 to 17 days, slow pulse, sore throat, red eyes, prostration, vomiting and pain in the chest wall and abdomen. Yellow spots and ulcers appear on the tonsils. There is a drop in the white cell count in the blood (leukopenia), internal bleeding and often liver and kidney failure. The most severely affected pass into coma and die of inadequate circulation (shock), respiratory insufficiency, or cardiac arrest. The mortality rate may be as high as 50% but many mild cases occur. Strict isolation is necessary. Treatment is with the antiviral drug RIBAVIRIN and with plasma from convalescent patients.