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VHFC researchers publish promising results from a five-year Lassa Fever trial conducted in post-conflict Sierra Leone. The trial demonstrated the ability of a rapid diagnostic test, developed by Corgenix Medical and other members of the Consortium, to quickly detect Lassa virus.

Lassa fever (LF) is a major public health threat in West Africa. After the violent civil conflict in Sierra Leone (1991 to 2002) ended, the LF research program at Kenema Government Hospital (KGH) was reestablished. Higher case fatality rates in LF patients were observed compared to studies conducted prior to the civil conflict. The criteria used for defining the stages of LF and differences in sensitivity of the assays used likely account for these differences. LF may be more widespread in Sierra Leone than recognized previously. Peak presentation of LF cases occurs in the dry season, which is consistent with previous studies. Our studies also confirmed reports conducted prior to the civil conflict that indicate that infants, children, young adults, and pregnant women are disproportionately impacted by LF. High fatality rates were observed among both ribavirin treated and untreated patients, which underscores then need for better LF treatments.

Read the full publication published by PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Journal.

Read the Corgenix press release in The Wall Street Journal.