News on Wellness

Minnesota Man Diagnosed With Lassa Fever


A Minnesota man has been diagnosed with a rare case of Lassa fever. Last month had flown back from West Africa.

Lassa fever is rarely seen in the United States but it rages in Africa. It is a viral infection.
Other passengers as well as the crew members of the same flight are now being contacted by the state and federal to find out whether they too are infected with the Lassa virus.

Last time Lassa fever was diagnosed in the US was in 2010. A man then, on March 31, was hospitalized in a Minnesota hospital with fever and confusion.

The Lassa virus is usually transmitted through saliva, blood and other bodily fluids. It is never spread by casual contract. Based on this theory the health authorities are not suspecting the fellow travelers or other people Minnesota may have been contracted the infection.

Each year about 30,000 people in Africa are infected with the disease and 5,000 are killed out of it. Its virus is similar to that of Ebola virus and it causes severe hemorrhagic fevers. However, compared to the Ebola fever, the fatality rate is lower due to Lassa fever.

The Minnesota man who returned from West Africa last month is reported to have changed planes in the New York City en route.

All the airport staff too is being contacted with whom the man encountered.

The Lassa virus of the man has been confirmed by CDC through a blood test.

More Info: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention News Release

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