Clinical presentation of lassa fever cases during the hospital epidemic at Zorzor, Liberia, March-April 1972

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  • 1 Curran Lutheran Hospital, Zorzor, Liberia, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia, and Arbovirology Section, Center for Disease Control, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

In March and April 1972 a nosocomial Lassa fever epidemic occurred in Curran Lutheran Hospital, Zorzor, Liberia. The index case, an obstetrical patient, was the source of infection for 10 secondary cases, with 4 deaths. Symptoms were those of a severe viral illness, with headache, sore throat, myalgia, vomiting, and diarrhea. Neck and facial edema and an erythematous maculopapular rash occurred in the more severe cases. Hearing loss was noted in three patients. Sporadic cases clinically compatible with Lassa fever had been noted in Zorzor District for up to 5 years before this outbreak, and they continue to occur.

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