Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
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.
Synonym(s): Lassa hemorrhagic fever
Lassa fever(lä′sə, lăs′ə)
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.
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.