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Volume 12, Number 5—May 2006


Historical Lassa Fever Reports and 30-year Clinical Update

Abe M. Macher*Comments to Author  and Martin S. Wolfe†‡§
Author affiliations: *US Public Health Service (retired), Bethesda, Maryland, USA; †Travelers Medical Service of Washington, Washington, DC, USA; ‡George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA; §Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA

Main Article


Patients with imported Lassa fever who were hospitalized in the United States*

Patient no. Year of import From To Clinical manifestations
1 1969 Nigeria New York, NY Fever, malaise, headache, nausea, sore throat, epigastric/right upper quadrant tenderness, pleural effusion, facial/cervical edema, dysphagia, elevated transaminases, cough, dyspnea, pulmonary infiltrates, epiglottal edema, lethargy, nystagmus, lightheadedness, dizziness without vertigo, ataxia, alopecia (2)
2 1975 Sierra Leone Washington, DC Abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, conjunctival injection, lymphadenopathy, weight loss, pleuritic chest pain, pleural effusion, unilateral deafness
3 1976 Sierra Leone Washington, DC Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, retroorbital pain, neck/back pain, paresthesias, right ear pain, fever, vertigo, syncope, dysmorphopsias, alopecia, weight loss, ecchymoses, insomnia, depression, hypotension, left-sided facial weakness, right-sided Babinski reflex, Weber test lateralized to the left (3)
4 1989 Nigeria Chicago, IL Shaking chills, fever, sore throat, myalgia, headache, dysphagia, bloody diarrhea, elevated transaminases, hypotension, adult respiratory distress syndrome, death (4)
5 2004 Sierra Leone and Liberia Trenton, NJ Chills, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, back pain, adult respiratory distress syndrome, death (1)

*Patients 1–4 are US citizens; patient 5 is a Liberian national.

Main Article

1Portions of this patient's clinical signs and symptoms were originally published in Zweighaft et al. (2).