Lassa Fever Case In Minnesota Shows how Easily Deadly Viruses Can Travel The Globe

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
By Paul Martin

Liz Bennett
Apr 09, 2014

A traveller returning to the United States from West Africa brought home more than photographs and memories…They came back infected with Lassa fever,a virus that can be deadly if untreated. It is similar to, but unrelated to, Ebola.

CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement released yesterday:

“This imported case is a reminder that we are all connected by international travel. A disease anywhere can appear anywhere else in the world within hours,”

Lassa fever is a haemorrhagic fever but can be treated with the anti-viral drug Ribavirin, Ebola has no treatment or cure.

The man flew into New york from West Africa before flying on to Minneapolis and officials are working with airlines to identify and contact passengers and others who may have had close contact with him.

There have only been seven cases of Lassa ever recorded in the United states, all of them in travellers returning from business or vacations. The disease is common in Africa where about 5000 cases a year out of the 100,000 plus cases reported, prove fatal.

The Rest…HERE

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