Lassa Fever

Hemorrhagic Fever

What is Lassa Fever??

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that is spread by animals, mostly rodents. The virus reproduces through the lysogenic cycle, which means it stays inside the host cell mixing their genetic code with the host cells genetic code. Then when the host cell undergoes reproduction the viruses genetic instructions get copied into the host cell's offspring.


Lassa Fever originates from West Africa. It was discovered in 1969 when two nurses died from it in Lassa, Nigeria, hence the name. Because the disease is carried and spread by rodents (the host cell) it can very well go farther than West Africa.

What does the Virus look like??

The Lassa virus is spherical and has an average diameter of 110-130 nano-meters. A size comparison to a tennis ball as to the earth. It is also a retrovirus which means that the virus injects RNA into the host cell.

How do you know??

The symptoms start with a slight fever, headaches and weakness. When the disease grows the symptoms start to become more serious like, respiratory distress, repeated vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and shock

Can I get it??

Yes. Anyone can get it, however you would have to go to Africa to do so. The only way a human can get Lassa Fever is if the come in contact with the feces of a rat that has been infected.

How can we prevent it??

There IS NO VACCINE to prevent Lassa Fever but we can prevent the spread of it. Another way is to just simply avoid the rodents.