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Photo 1. Liver in Lassa fever. Acellular liver necrosis is a marked feature of the hepatic lesion. (x250)
Photo 2. Subintimal lymphocytic infiltration of spleen. Another pathological feature seen in this disease at post mortem. (x60)
Photo 3. Rodent reservoir.
Mastomys natalensis. Lassa fever is an acute infectious disease occurring in the rural areas of West Africa. During the second week of infection toxic or vascular symptoms appear; pharyngitis, serous effusions, facial oedema, haemorrhagic diathesis, disorders of the central nervous system and a state of shock. The case fatality rate is high among severe cases but benign, febrile cases of the disease also occur as well as asymptomatic carriers. A rodent reservoir has been implicated in the epidemiology of Lassa fever.
Photo 4. Virus of Lassa fever.
Virus particles are seen in the perisinusoidal space in this biopsy of liver from a fatal human case, (x 27500) (From Winn, W C Jr, Monath, T P, Murphy., F A, Whitfield, S G (1975) 'Lassa Virus Hepatitis: Observations on a fatal case from the 1972 Sierra Leone epidemic', Archives of Pathology 99,599-604.) The virus of lassa fever belongs to the arbovirus group. Its mode of transmission to man is not fully understood, but person to person infections seem common.
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