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Rare viral disease kills US man back from Liberia

Posted in World

Published on May 29, 2015 with No Comments

A man died of Lassa fever at a hospital in New Jersey after returning from Liberia this month, health authorities announced. Lassa fever is a viral disease common in West Africa but rarely seen in the US.

It can have symptoms similar to Ebola — diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding — but is less infectious and far less likely to be fatal. About 1% of Lassa patients die, compared to about 70% of Ebola’s. The patient, who was not identified, travelled from Liberia to Morocco and arrived at John F Kennedy International Airport on May 17. The patient did not have a fever on departure from Liberia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The next day, he went to a hospital in New Jersey with a sore throat, fever and fatigue. The hospital asked about his travel and he “did not indicate travel to West Africa,” the CDC said. The hospital then released him. He returned on May 21 with worsening symptoms. Samples submitted to the CDC tested positive for Lassa fever.

 

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