The illness was discovered in 1969 and is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred. An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 infections of Lassa fever occur annually, with approximately 5,000 deaths. Surveillance for Lassa fever is not standardized; therefore, these estimates are crude.
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.
Who Discovered Lassa Fever?
Lassa fever was first described in the 1950s, and the viral particle was identified in 1969 from three missionary nurses who died in Lassa, Nigeria, after caring for an infected obstetrical patient.
Where Was Lassa Fever First Discovered In Nigeria?
Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in West Africa. The illness was discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in Lassa Village in Borno State. The cause of the illness was found to be Lassa virus, named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases originated.
Where Did Lassa Fever Originates From?
Descriptions of the disease date from the 1950s. The virus was first described in 1969 from a case in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. Lassa fever is relatively common in West Africa including the countries of Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ghana.
How Did Lassa Fever Spread?
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans mainly through handling rats, food or house- hold items contaminated by rats’ urine and faeces. The virus can spread between people through direct contact with the body fluids of a person infected with Lassa fever, as well as contaminated bedding and clothing.
Symptoms of Lassa Fever
Other names: Lassa hemorrhagic fever
Deaths: 5,000 deaths per year
as written by: Adigun Michael Olamide ‘Olamide Noble’