Lassa fever


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The report reviews key players involved Lassa Fever therapeutics and enlists all their major and minor projects
Dr Formenty said WHO has "some laboratories in the region who are able to diagnose Lassa fever, but they are not too many, maybe five or six in total.
The report reviews key players involved in the therapeutics development for Arenavirus Infection Lassa Fever and enlists all their major and minor projects
About 100,000 to 300,000 cases of Lassa fever, and 5,000 deaths related to Lassa fever, occur in West Africa each year.
Results: A total of 6 patients were confirmed to be suffering from Lassa fever.
Dr Scholefield said: "There are specific diagnostic tests for Lassa fever and a combination of seriological tests which would need to be done.
A fatal case of Lassa fever was recently imported to the United States from West Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This research has enormous public health implications not only because it might be used to limit the spread of Ebola virus, which continues to emerge in central Africa, but also because this vaccine strategy may be applied to other highly lethal viruses, such as the Marburg and Lassa fever viruses and the SARS coronavirus, that cause acute disease outbreaks and require a rapid response," reports NIAID Director Anthony S.
In Africa, identifying haemorrhagic fever such as Ebola and Lassa fever (one million cases per year) is made difficult by the lack of specific symptoms at the onset of the disease.
Lassa fever and the South American viral hemorrhagic fevers are examples of human illnesses caused by such arenaviruses.
Other arenaviruses include Lassa fever and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
This is the site if one want to learn about lassa fever, gonorrhea, meningitis and other hard-to-spell diseases, but don't expect practical advice on care of chronic conditions other than HIV/AIDS.