A Patient In Minnesota Has Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever. (Don’t Panic.)

Maryn McKenna | Wired | April 4, 2014

News from the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: A Minnesota traveler returning from Africa has been hospitalized with what the CDC confirms to be Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever that is often lumped together with Ebola hemorrhagic fever, though they are caused by different organisms.

Given the news from West Africa of the growing Ebola outbreak there — 127 cases including 83 deaths, according to the World Health Organization’s last posted update — I suspect there’s going to be some attention to this case, possibly even some alarm. So, switching from Scary Disease Girl to Scary Disease Killjoy (which is sort of like Phoenix becoming Dark Phoenix, only without any planets blowing up): The Minnesota department says there’s no sign the disease has spread. The CDC says it’s not even likely to have infected passengers on the same airplane.

And if you’re thinking, well, surely this has never happened before, a viral hemorrhagic fever coming to the US via airline: Actually, it’s happened seven times before. [...]