Facts about Lassa fever

Lassa fever is present in West Africa. The reservoir of Lassa virus are rodents and humans become infected through contact with the excreta of infected rats. While about 80% of the infections go with no symptoms, the remaining patients develop severe multi-system disease and up to 15% of the hospitalized cases may die. Early treatment with the antiviral drug ribavirin is effective, and infection is prevented through good hygiene conditions.