Lassa Fever an Epidemic

Essay by Anarchy123Junior High, 8th gradeA-, May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 0.0


This is a volatile disease with symptoms as disgusting as its name. The first stage is occasional vomiting. The second stage is dilating of the eyes, delusions, foaming at the mouth and severe vomiting. The final stage is death. Lassa fever is an acute single-stranded RNA virus. It is also zoonotic or animal-bourne and is in the family Arenaviradae. It was discovered in 1969 after 2 missionary nurses died of this disease while treating another person who had contracted it. Originating in Nigeria, Africa it was named after the first city that it hit. This is a devastating disease that kills over 100,000 people every year. The only chance a person has to be cured is if this disease is caught early on in the process and is immediately treated.


The mastomys rodents shed this virus in there urine and in their droppings. It is transmitted through touch or eating of objects that have been contaminated with the virus.

It can be transmitted many ways. One way is called airborne transmission. What this means is that the animal excretes this virus into the air where it floats and if inhaled by a human then there is a great possibility of the virus being transmitted. The places these rodents are found usually are located in very rural areas. In such places these people eat these animals without knowing that by eating them there is a very high chance of this disease to be transmitted. Also if a person is contaminated with the disease it can be transmitted via fluid exchange. Such as kissing or even hugging. Also if an open wound is present it is very easy for the disease to go into a wound through air particles, bodily fluid exchange, and once in the wound it is nearly...