Journal Article

Imported Lassa Fever in Germany: Surveillance and Management of Contact Persons

Walter H. Haas, Thomas Breuer, Günter Pfaff, Herbert Schmitz, Päivi Köhler, Marcel Asper, Petra Emmerich, Christian Drosten, Uta Gölnitz, Klaus Fleischer and Stephan Günther

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue 10, pages 1254-1258
Published in print May 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374853
Imported Lassa Fever in Germany: Surveillance and Management of Contact Persons

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This study sought to assess the risk of secondary transmission after import of Lassa fever into Europe. A total of 232 persons exposed to a case of Lassa fever imported into Germany were identified. The level of exposure was determined for 157 persons (68%), and 149 (64%) were tested serologically. High-risk or close contact was reported by 30 (19%) of 157 persons. No symptomatic secondary infections were observed. However, Lassa virus-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies were detected in a serum sample obtained from a physician who examined the index patient on day 9 of illness. The physician received ribavirin prophylaxis and did not develop symptoms of Lassa fever. On the basis of these data, the contact was classified as having a probable secondary infection. The study indicates a low risk of transmission during the initial phase of symptomatic Lassa fever, even with high-risk exposures. The risk may increase with progression of disease and increasing virus load.

Journal Article.  2998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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