Medical worker with suspected Lassa fever headed to Atlanta

Medical worker with suspected Lassa fever headed to Atlanta

An American medical worker in Africa with suspected Lassa fever will be flown to metro Atlanta for treatment this weekend.

Upon arrival in Atlanta, an ambulance will carry the worker to Emory University Hospital, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in west Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness was discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in Nigeria.

On average, there are anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 Lassa virus infections and 5,000 deaths per year in west Africa, according to the CDC.

“Unfortunately, such estimates are crude, because surveillance for cases of the disease is not uniformly performed,” the CDC said.

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