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.

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 ?
Recent instances of infection have occurred with Marburg virus in Colorado (19) and the Netherlands (20); with Lassa fever virus in New Jersey (15), the United Kingdom (16), and Germany 6 (16); with Y.
Lassa fever virus is an Old World arenavirus associated with the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) that causes hemorrhagic fever, which affects large numbers of persons in West Africa.
A serum specimen collected in May 1975 was sent to CDC, where an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) titer of 256 was demonstrated against Lassa fever virus (E Rollin, pers.