[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Curr Opin Virol. 2019 Jul 16;37:77-83. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2019.06.005. [Epub ahead of print]
A short history of Lassa fever: the first 10-15 years after discovery.
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This brief review is focused on the events surrounding the initial discovery of a new viral hemorrhagic fever in 1969 and the subsequent 10-15 years during which a substantial understanding of the disease was gained. In 1969, a series of sequential life-threating or fatal infections occurred among health care workers in Nigeria and the laboratory scientist who isolated and characterized the causative agent. The agent, Lassa virus was named after the geographical location of the first recognized human case. The new virus was shown to be related to lymphocytic choriomeningitis and to previously unclassified neotropical viruses, including Argentine and Bolivian hemorrhagic fevers, and a new taxonomic grouping, the Arenaviruses, was proposed. In 1970-72, three further epidemics occurred in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the first two involved nosocomial transmission, and the third was a community-based outbreak, during which the rodent reservoir host was identified. In 1976, a long-term research project commenced in Sierra Leone, which produced a rich body of data from prospectively designed studies on the clinical features, transmission, and treatment of the disease.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 31323506 DOI: 10.1016/j.coviro.2019.06.005
Keywords: Arenavirus; Lassa fever.