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Lassa and Machupo

Tom Meek Meek_Thomas_D.prilvms3 at msmail.bms.com
Tue Mar 21 09:33:44 EST 1995


Susan,

I'm doing this entirely from memory of several years ago, so there may be
some inaccuracies...here goes.

Machupo and Lassa both cause hemorrhagic fevers, like the  Ebola and
Marburg viruses.  That is, the disease begins with flu-like symptoms and
aching muscles, followed by spiking high fevers (103o F and higher) and
may progress to bleeding from the nose and other orifices, red eyes and
pink pages.  This hemorrhaging is due to viral particles clogging
capillaries, which can then burst.  In the worst causes, victims die of
hemmorrhaging and damage to internal organs.

Machupo is indogenous to South America; it was discovered in Bolivia in
the 1950's.  Lassa is African; named for a village in Nigeria where it was
discovered in 1976(?).  Lassa is exceptionally deadly; I think mortality
is 90%.   It has been described as a disease which was designed to kill
doctors and nurses; physicians and nurses have been among the leading
victims of this disease.  The host for Lassa is an African rodent found in
the huts of villages in West Africa.  

For more info, please see the excellent book "The Coming Plague" by Laurie
Garrett where both of these viruses are described in considerable detail.

Tom

In article <3kl1dj$j3u at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, susand4739 at aol.com
(SusanD4739) wrote:

> Please inform me about these viruses so I don't have to waste money
> calling long distance to the CDC to get one of their info packtets



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