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Volume 16, Number 6—June 2010
Etymologia

Etymologia: Lassa [lah sə] virus

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This virus was named after the town of Lassa at the southern end of Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, where the first known patient, a nurse in a mission hospital, had lived and worked when she contracted this infection in 1969. The virus was discovered as part of a plan to identify unknown viruses from Africa by collecting serum specimens from patients with fevers of unknown origin. Lassa virus, transmitted by field rats, is endemic in West Africa, where it causes up to 300,000 infections and 5,000 deaths each year.

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References

  1. Frame  JD, Baldwin  JM Jr, Gocke  DJ, Troup  JM. Lassa fever, a new virus disease of man from West Africa. I. Clinical description and pathological findings. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1970;19:6706.PubMed
  2. Mahy  BW. The dictionary of virology, 4th ed. Burlington (MA): Elsevier; 2009.

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1606.et1606

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Table of Contents – Volume 16, Number 6—June 2010

Page created: February 14, 2011
Page updated: February 14, 2011
Page reviewed: February 14, 2011
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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