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Lassa fever


Definition: 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.

Synonym(s): Lassa hemorrhagic fever

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.