CDC Responds To Lassa Fever Death In N.J.
Federal officials are tracing the victim's travels and treating the case with caution, as the virus can be spread from person to person in rare cases. Lassa fever shares symptoms with Ebola, but is nowhere near as deadly -- nearly 99 percent of people survive it.
The New York Times:
New Jersey Lassa Fever Death Prompts C.D.C. Action
After the government spent months constructing a health monitoring system for Ebola that strikes a balance between protecting public safety and preserving personal liberty, a patient in New Jersey seems to have squeezed through it. The patient, who was not identified, died from Lassa fever on Monday night. The viral disease is not nearly as deadly as Ebola, but it is endemic in several West African countries, as well as contagious, and it sent local and federal health officials scrambling to trace the man’s steps in the four days between his hospitalizations. (Tavernise and Hartocollis, 5/26)
How Worried Should We Be About Lassa Fever?
An unidentified New Jersey man died after returning home from West Africa, where he had contracted Lassa fever, a virus that has symptoms similar to those of Ebola. Federal health officials are treating the case with caution because the virus, which commonly is spread by rodents, can occasionally spread from person to person. Lassa fever can cause internal bleeding. Other symptoms include respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, and back and abdominal pain. Dr. Tom Frieden, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the virus is not nearly as deadly as Ebola. Ninety-nine percent of people with Lassa fever survive. (Harris, 5/26)