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Minnesota patient has W. African virus, search on for others exposed
A traveler who flew back to the United States from West Africa was diagnosed with the rare and sometimes deadly Lassa fever, said health authorities who on today were trying to identify others on the plane who may have been exposed.
In the first Lassa case in the United States in four years, an unnamed patient was admitted to a Minnesota hospital on Monday suffering from fever and confusion, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
Blood samples sent to CDC tested positive for Lassa fever on Thursday.
.......“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,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.
While Lassa fever can cause hemorrhagic symptoms in infected individuals, it is not related to the Ebola virus, which recently resurged in West Africa, the CDC said.
At least they catch it fast so they can track it. That is promising to hear - medical personnel being vigilant and CDC taking it seriously when reported. It isn't anyone's fault - germs are invisible.
Casual contact (including skin-to-skin contact without exchange of body fluids) does not spread Lassa virus. Person-to-person transmission is common in health care settings (called nosocomial transmission) where proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is not available or not used. Lassa virus may be spread in contaminated medical equipment, such as reused needles.
Not to diminish the scare, but at least according to the CDC is not an airborne disease easily picked up by others.
This is very interesting because i've read about Ebola but i've never heard of Lassa Fever before.
Be interesting to see what the RNA seqeuence of Lassa Fever looks like compared to Ebola.
Btw West Africa is definitely off my travel list.
edit on 4-4-2014 by Conspiracyskeptic because: Adding to post