A short #history of #Lassa fever: the first 10-15 years after #discovery (Curr Opin Virol., abstract)

[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.

Monath TP1.

Author information: 1 Crozet BioPharma LLC, 94 Jackson Road Suite 108, Devens, MA 01434, United States. Electronic address: tom.monath@crozetbiopharma.com.



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.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.