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About Lassa Fever

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1default About Lassa Fever on December 11th 2014, 6:30 am


What Is Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever is a viral illness mainly in West Africa (specifically Sierra Leone).  It is mainly carried in a rodent known by locals as the multimammate rat and can be spread through the urine and droppings of an infected rodent either by direct contact or inhaling particles (airborne).

How Deadly Is It?

For about 80% of the people it has little or no effect. The remaining 20% is another story as it requires hospitalization


Signs and symptoms of Lassa fever typically occur 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. For the majority of Lassa fever virus infections (approximately 80%), symptoms are mild and are undiagnosed and include slight fever, general malaise and weakness, and headache.

In 20% of infected individuals, however, disease may progress to more serious symptoms including hemorrhaging (in gums, eyes, or nose, as examples), respiratory distress, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and shock. Neurological problems have also been described, including hearing loss, tremors, and encephalitis. Death may occur within two weeks after symptom onset due to multi-organ failure.

The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness. Various degrees of deafness occur in approximately one-third of infections, and in many cases hearing loss is permanent. As far as is known, severity of the disease does not affect this complication: deafness may develop in mild as well as in severe cases.


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