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Lassa Fever Accompanies Traveler Back from West Africa — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 7, 2014

Lassa Fever Accompanies Traveler Back from West Africa

By Joe Elia

The hemorrhagic viral disease Lassa fever was diagnosed last week in a Minnesota patient who'd just returned from West Africa, the CDC reports.

Lassa fever is transmitted through direct mucosal or body fluid contact — not casual contact. Accordingly, a CDC official says "the risk to other travelers and members of the public is extremely low." The patient's flight stopped in New York on the way to Minnesota.

The agency says the disease is not related to the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever currently afflicting West Africa. That outbreak has caused over 80 deaths, mostly in Guinea.

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