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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-29  

Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever

Department of Community Medicine, Dr DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India; Department of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia; Department of Biological Science, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Nigeria; Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Date of Submission28-May-2019
Date of Decision28-May-2019
Date of Acceptance03-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication16-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Viroj Wiwanitkit
140 Bangkhae, Bangkok 10160

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_144_19

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How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2020;13:28-9

How to cite this URL:
Wiwanitkit V. Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 9];13:28-9. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2020/13/1/28/272875

Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever presents some interesting features. It is still an important viral infection seen in some specific areas of the world. The report from Nigeria on the disease is a good illustration of this problematic infection.[1] In fact, as a hemorrhagic fever, the disease can present with acute febrile illness and complicated with hemorrhagic complications. Lassa hemorrhagic fever is classified as an important viral hemorrhagic fever.[2] At present, Lassa fever is still an endemic disease in several countries, including Nigeria.[1],[3] The clinical presentation of Lassa fever is similar to several of acute febrile illness, and it usually requires the laboratory investigation for the final diagnosis.[3] The patient might have fever accompanied with other clinical problems such as chest pain and abdominal pain.[4],[5] Furthermore, the hemorrhagic episode might be seen.[4],[5]

As a vector-borne zoonotic disease, the seasonal variation of the infection might be observable. The main vector of Lassa fever is rodent.[4],[5] Hence, the rodent control is an important primary prevention against Lassa fever. The outbreak might be related to local climatic factors, and it is necessary to understand the local geographical pathology for appropriate planning for disease prevention. Indeed, the seasonal effect on viral hemorrhagic fever is well-defined. The good example is the seasonal variation, with a strong relationship to rainfall in the rainy season, seen in dengue [6] and Zika virus infection.[7] Nevertheless, Lassa fever is not a mosquito-borne disease but rodent-borne disease. The pattern of seasonal variation is different. In a recent epidemiological survey, the season change of viral prevalence in an important Lassa fever vector – Mastomys natalensis was studied.[8] Fichet-Calvet et al. found that the observed prevalence was higher in the rainy season comparing to summer.[8] However, the risk for human is higher in summer.[8] This is explained by the fact that the existence of rodent vector is more in the house during summer.[8],[9],[10]

Compared to another important rodent-related disease – leptospirosis, the difference in peak season of diseases can be seen. In leptospirosis, the peak season is the rainy season. For Lassa fever, the peak season is summer or dry season. This is due to the basic difference of the two diseases. In leptospirosis, the urine is the main infectious source. For Lassa fever, the feces is the main infectious source. During the rainy season, the urine, a body fluid, can easily contaminate floodwaters and cause disease. However, for Lassa fever, it is difficult to detect viral contaminate in food during the rainy season. Based on this specific important data, the surveillance of seasonal prevalence of the virus in rodent vector might not be much useful. A more useful approach would be the surveillance for the existence of the rodent vector in houses.

  References Top

Osho PO, Fasipe OJ, Osho ES, Adu BS, Akinrotimi OJ, Folayan WA, et al. The observed seasonal variation pattern and changing epidemiology of Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever disease in Ondo State, Nigeria. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2019;13:1:22-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Houlihan C, Behrens R. Lassa fever. BMJ 2017;358:j2986.  Back to cited text no. 2
Akhiwu HO, Yiltok ES, Ebonyi AO, Gomerep S, Shehu NY, Amaechi EP, et al. Lassa fever outbreak in adolescents in North central Nigeria: Report of cases. J Virus Erad 2018;4:225-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Coyle AL. Lassa fever. Nursing 2016;46:69-70.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ogbu O, Ajuluchukwu E, Uneke CJ. Lassa fever in West African sub-region: An overview. J Vector Borne Dis 2007;44:1-1.  Back to cited text no. 5
Wiwanitkit V. An observation on correlation between rainfall and the prevalence of clinical cases of dengue in Thailand. J Vector Borne Dis 2006;43:73-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Wiwanitkit S, Wiwanitkit V. Predicted pattern of Zika virus infection distribution with reference to rainfall in Thailand. Asian Pac J Trop Med 2016;9:719-20.  Back to cited text no. 7
Fichet-Calvet E, Lecompte E, Koivogui L, Soropogui B, Doré A, Kourouma F, et al. Fluctuation of abundance and Lassa virus prevalence in Mastomys natalensis in Guinea, West Africa. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2007;7:119-28.  Back to cited text no. 8
Shehu NY, Gomerep SS, Isa SE, Iraoyah KO, Mafuka J, Bitrus N, et al. Lassa fever 2016 outbreak in plateau state, Nigeria-the changing epidemiology and clinical presentation. Front Public Health 2018;6:232.  Back to cited text no. 9
Tambo E, Adetunde OT, Olalubi OA. Re-emerging Lassa fever outbreaks in Nigeria: Re-enforcing “One health” community surveillance and emergency response practice. Infect Dis Poverty 2018;7:37.  Back to cited text no. 10


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