Travellers to African countries will have to worry for another virus called Lujo. According to a team of scientists, the Lujo Virus is very similar to the Ebola virus as it’s lethal and it causes massive bleeding to infected people. The Lujo Virus infected five people from Zambia and South Africa as of September last year.
According to Dr. Ian Lipkin, epidemiologist at the Columbia University, the virus is found in rodents, but for the moment it is very unclear how the first person go infected with Lujo. Lipkin says that the virus spreads from a person to another person when entering in contact with Lujo-infected body fluids.
The first person to be infected with the Lujo virus was a female travel agen from Lusaka, Zambia who complained of fever-like symptoms that affected her badly. In order to determine what caused the disease and treat her, she was transported to Johannesburg, South Africa, but she eventually died.
Before she was sent to Johannesburg, she infected a paramedic who treated her. He was also transported from Lusaka to Johannesburg, but he died from the Lujo virus. Things got worse at the Johannesburg hospital as three other health care workers got infected, and two of them died. The third person seems to be fine after taking a medicine prescribed by the doctors.
A full paper about the Lujo virus or LUJV was published in the PLoS Pathogens online journal. According to Dr. Lipkin, the virus is really aggressive, but you can read the full research article here.
Note that the publication is free of charge and it doesn’t require a subscription.
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