What causes this disease?
- A virus called Lassa, which is why it is called lassa fever.
What happens to the body when it contracts this disease?
- When a patient comes into contact with the disease nothing happens, and for some nothing will happen because the symptoms are mild. For others, after 1-3 weeks after they come into contact with the disease they may have serious symptoms and might need to be hospitalized before it results in death, which can occur. Symptoms are hemorrhaging, respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the back and chest, shock, temporary hearing loss, and permanent hearing loss
Is it infectious? How is it spread?
- The disease is infectious and is animal-borne but can be spread through human contact once one person has contracted the disease.
How is it treated or prevented?
- The disease is treated by an antiviral disease called Ribavirin and can be prevented by avoiding contact with the rodents that are hosts for the bacteria that causes lassa fever and limiting with people who might have contracted the disease.
Celebrities with this disease
- To my knowledge and the Web's knowledge there are no celebrities who have had this disease.
The problem with this disease is that it is contracted when people come into contact with the rats that carry it through direct contact such as food the rats were attracted to and then it got contaminated. So, in order to stop the spread of the disease you would have to kill off all the rats or not come into contact with them at all. But, we cannot stop all contact because when humans do come into contact with contaminated food they rarely know it and we cannot just kill off all the rats because it is impossible to locate them all and even if we could you cannot just kill of a member of the food chain.
The disease was discovered in 1969, and since then we know how it's spread and we have a treatment, but as far as current research there isn't much. In the article on CDC about Lassa fever it does say that there might be a growing concern and might have to be more research in the future because there are a growing number of cases of Lassa fever.
Once a person contracts the virus the show no symptoms for another 1-3 weeks. After that you can have serious symptoms and might need to be hospitalized and it could be fatal, if you do not show serious symptoms you may never know you have even contacted it. You can continue to be contagious for a few days after showing no symptoms and after that the disease has run its course.