What you need to know about Lassa fever
Published Date:June 2, 2015
Description:Lassa fever is caused by a virus that is found in West Africa. It was first discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria when two missionary nurses died.
Lassa fever is mainly found in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria and is spread by rats. Other neighboring countries are also at risk because the type of rat that spreads the virus is also found throughout the West African region.
Lassa fever is different from Ebola, the disease that is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa. Although Lassa fever and Ebola can result in similar symptoms, Lassa fever is less likely than Ebola to spread from person to person and is far less deadly. The death rate from Lassa fever is approximately 1% versus approximately 70% from Ebola. While both diseases are viral hemorrhagic fevers, bleeding and severe symptoms are not common in cases of Lassa fever.
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