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May 2018

What Pediatricians Should Know About Lassa Virus

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Pediatrics/Hospital Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Human Development and Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(5):407-408. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.5223

After the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, viruses causing hemorrhagic fever have garnered increasing international attention. Infection with Lassa virus is an important cause of fever in children in West Africa. Exact figures are unknown, but a study showed 6% of febrile admissions in Nigeria were due to Lassa fever.1 Considering ever-increasing global migration, pediatricians should be aware of Lassa virus risk factors and treatment standards. The diagnosis should be considered by pediatricians in the United States treating children newly arrived from endemic areas, as Lassa virus may be an underrecognized source of infection in this population.

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