Patient infected with Lassa in Frankfurt on the mend
According to the Frankfurt University Hospital, the Lassa patient who is being treated there is significantly better. He'll be well soon. A funeral director had been infected with the deadly Lassa fever on a body.
Frankfurt Lassa patient "largely mobile"
A few days ago it was said that the condition of the Frankfurt Lassa fever patient was unchanged, but the man is now much better off. As the university clinic said in a press release, the patient was "largely mobile, but still weak". The man, who works in a funeral home in Rhineland-Palatinate, has been treated in the special isolation ward of the Frankfurt University Hospital for over two weeks. According to the information, he had been infected by the body of a Lassa infected who had died in Cologne University Hospital at the end of February.
First Lassa infection outside of Africa
The dead man was said to be a 46-year-old US citizen who had worked as a nurse in Togo. From there he was referred to Cologne with the diagnosis of malaria. He was dead only a few hours later. The body was transported to the funeral home in a special container, but at that time it was not known that the man had died of Lassa fever. Shortly after specialists had detected the virus in the dead man, the diagnosis was confirmed by the undertaker. The case is the world's first known Lassa infection outside of Africa. So far, the pathogen has only been introduced to Germany in very few cases.
Doctors expected good chances of recovery
“We are happy that we were able to help the patient recover quickly. This was only possible through the great commitment of the medical specialists. I would like to thank you for this special commitment, ”said Professor Jürgen Schölmerich, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Frankfurt University Hospital. After being admitted to the clinic, the man suffered from "all signs of a serious virus infection", the treating senior physician Timo Wolf explained in an older report. However, because he had come to the hospital at a very early stage of the illness, the doctors expected good chances of recovery from the start.
Infections are often mild or without symptoms
Lassa, like Ebola, Dengue or Marburg, belongs to the so-called "hemorrhagic fever diseases". The virus can cause fever, headache and muscle aches, and in the further course bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting are also possible. In an emergency, the infection can lead to internal bleeding and become life-threatening. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), an infection is often mild or without symptoms. Lassa is common in several countries in West Africa. Every year, around 100,000 to 300,000 people become infected with the pathogen, and up to two percent die from it. The disease occurs very rarely in Germany. Not even a dozen cases of imported disease from Africa have occurred since 1974. Vaccination is not yet available. (ad)