LASSA FEVER: Minnesota man hospitalized after West Africa trip - KMSP-TV

LASSA FEVER: Minnesota man hospitalized after trip to West Africa

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A Minnesota man was diagnosed with Lassa fever after returning to Minnesota from West Africa.

The virus is carried by rodents in West Africa and is transmitted to humans through contact with urine or droppings from infected rodents. The unidentified man was hospitalized March 31 and tested positive for the disease on April 3.

"The hospital has done an excellent job of caring for the patient and taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of hospital staff, visitors and patients," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health.

The last case of Lassa fever in the United States was reported in 2010 and was also travel-related. The virus is not transmitted through casual contact and the incubation period for the fever is one to three weeks.

The Minnesota Department of Health is working with the hospital, CDC and others in the investigation. The Department of Health and CDC are working with the hospital to notify any health care providers or staff who may have had contact with the patient.

The general public is not at risk from this case.

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