What is Lassa Fever?

What is Lassa Fever?

Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness. It is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Neighboring countries are also at risk, as the animal vector for Lassa virus, the multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) is distributed throughout the region.

What does Lassa fever do to the body?

Symptoms of Lassa fever

The onset of the disease, when it is symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and malaise. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain may follow.

Can Lassa fever be cured?

Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, has been used with success in Lassa fever patients. It has been shown to be most effective when given early in the course of the illness.

Is Lassa fever contagious?

Unlike Ebola virus, Lassa fever is not as contagious person to person, nor as deadly. Lassa virus is typically transmitted by the urine or feces of Mastomys rats to humans. Health workers may be infected by direct contact with blood, body fluids, urine, or stool of a patient with Lassa fever.

How do you catch Lassa fever?

Transmission of Lassa virus to humans normally occurs through contamination of broken skin or mucous membranes via direct or indirect contact with infected rodent excreta on floors, home surfaces, in food or water. Transmission is also possible where rodents are caught and consumed as food.

Is there a cure for Lassa?

Although Lassa virus was first described over 5 decades ago in 1969, no treatments or vaccines have been approved to treat or prevent infection.

Is Lassa fever like Ebola?

Lassa fever is what is called a viral hemorrhagic fever, similar to Ebola. But while it can cause problems with how you control the movement of fluids through your body (meaning fluid may sometimes leak out of the blood vessels), this rarely happens.

Where is Lassa fever found?

Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness. It is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Neighboring countries are also at risk, as the animal vector for Lassa virus, the multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) is distributed throughout the region.

How do you identify a Lassa rat?

Lassa fever is generally diagnosed by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISA). These detect IgM and IgG antibodies and Lassa antigens. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) can also be used in the early stages of the disease.

How can you prevent Lassa fever?

Primary transmission of the Lassa virus from its host to humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents, especially in the geographic regions where outbreaks occur. Putting food away in rodent-proof containers and keeping the home clean help to discourage rodents from entering homes.

How long can Lassa virus survive outside the body?

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus is stable as an aerosol, particularly at low relative humidity (30 % RH). The biological half-live at both 24C and 32C ranges from 10.1 to 54.6 minutes(20).

Is there a vaccine for Lassa fever?

Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for Lassa fever, although numerous candidates are in the development pipeline. These include DNA, RNA, live attenuated, and multiple different viral-vectored vaccine approaches24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32.

Is there a vaccine for the Lassa virus?

There are currently no licensed vaccines or treatments specifically for Lassa fever.

Is Lassa airborne?

Contact with the virus may also occur when a person inhales tiny particles in the air contaminated with infected rodent excretions. This aerosol or airborne transmission may occur during cleaning activities, such as sweeping.

Can you survive SARS?

Overall, 1 out of 10 patients infected with SARS will die, and 1 out of 2 of patients over the age of 60 will die. Most people infected with the SARS virus develop a serious infection and will need to go to the hospital.

Is Lassa fever endemic or epidemic?

Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria and the annual peak of Lassa fever cases is typically observed during the dry season (DecemberApril). Thus, the number of infections is expected to rise further until the end of the dry season. While endemic in Nigeria, cases are much higher than the previous epidemic seasons.

Why does Lassa fever cause deafness?

Cummins et al. [7] postulated that the viraemia is not responsible for the hearing loss in Lassa fever infections; instead, such hearing loss is due to immune response reactions against the elements of the inner ear.

How does Ribavirin work in Lassa fever?

Ribavirin is a broad spectrum antiviral which inhibits Lassa virus (LASV) replication in vitro but exhibits a minor effect on viremia in vivo. However, ribavirin significantly improves the disease outcome when administered in combination with sub-optimal doses of favipiravir, a strong antiviral drug.

Who discovered Lassa fever?

The Yale epidemiologist who discovered Lassa fever in 1969 very nearly died of what was then a mystery illness while he was investigating it. Dr Jordi Casals-Ariet was studying the blood samples of three US missionary nurses who had become seriously ill while visiting northern Nigeria.

Is Lassa fever in UK?

Three people in the UK have tested positive for Lassa fever including a newborn infant, who has unfortunately died as a result. Hundreds of close-contact healthcare workers are now in isolation as a precaution. This is the first time since 2009 that cases of the virus have been reported in the UK.

How can we prevent Lassa fever in Nigeria?

Prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good community hygiene to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households and keeping cats.

Who is most at risk for Lassa fever?

Individuals at greatest risk of Lassa virus infection are those who live in or visit endemic regions, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria and have exposure to the multimammate rat. Risk of exposure may also exist in other west African countries where Mastomys rodents exist.

Who brought Lassa fever to Nigeria?

Lassa fever (LF) is an acute and sometimes severe viral hemorrhagic illness endemic in West Africa. The disease was first recognized in Nigeria in 1969. Humans contract Lassa virus (LASV) primarily through contact with contaminated excreta of the rodent Mastomys natalensis, which is the natural reservoir.

What causes Ebola?

Ebola is caused by viruses in the Ebolavirus and Filoviridae family. Ebola is considered a zoonosis, meaning that the virus is present in animals and is transmitted to humans. How this transmission occurs at the onset of an outbreak in humans is unknown.

What is Lassa fever causes and prevention?

Overview. Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

What is an Old World virus?

Old World/New World Arenaviruses

They include Chapare virus, a severe or fatal hemorrhagic fever, found in Bolivia, as well as Guanarito virus found in Venezuela. Old World viruses occur in the Eastern Hemisphere Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Is there a vaccine for dengue?

Dengue vaccine is a vaccine used to prevent dengue fever in humans. Development of dengue vaccines began in the 1920s, but was hindered by the need to create immunity against all four dengue serotypes.

Dengue vaccine.
Vaccine description
Vaccine type Attenuated
Clinical data
Trade names Dengvaxia
Other names CYD-TDV

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Is there a vaccine for Nipah?

Nipah vaccines being developed by Public Health Vaccines, University of Tokyo, and the University of Oxford are currently in preclinical stages. Further testing, assessing the safety of and immunogenicity elicited by these vaccine candidates, is set to take place over the next few years.

How is yellow fever vaccine given?

Only in the event of limited vaccine supply during yellow fever outbreaks and according to national recommendations, vaccination may be administered by SC or IM injection in children over 2 years and adults with a fractional dose of 1/2 or 1/5 of the standard dose (minimum 0.1 ml) using vials containing a maximum of …

Does Rift Valley fever have a vaccine?

CDC researchers have developed a vaccine. During early testing, all vaccinated animals were protected against the RVF virus. There were no negative side effects. The vaccine is also inexpensive to produce, and this makes it an affordable option for developing countries.

How long does Covid last on clothes?

Research suggests that COVID-19 doesn’t survive for long on clothing, compared to hard surfaces, and exposing the virus to heat may shorten its life. A study published in found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal.

Can Covid live hair?

There’s no research on exactly how long the virus can live on your skin or hair. Rhinoviruses, which cause colds, survive for hours. That’s why it’s important to wash or disinfect your hands, which are most likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces.

Can I get Covid twice?

Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.

What’s the Ebola death rate?

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

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