Lujo Virus Essay

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a. Introduction Lujo Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by a bi-segmented negative RNA virus that is one of several viruses known to cause viral hemorrhagic fever. The Lujo virus is part of the Arenaviridae family, which consist of several viruses categorized into two groups. The Lujo virus is categorized in the “Old World” group, which signifies that the virus in question was found in the Eastern Hemisphere, specifically the continent of Africa. The majority of the arenaviruses categorized in the “Old World” group do not cause severe illness, with the exception of both the Lassa and Lujo virus. As of 2012, the Lujo virus is classified as a select agent, and is noted to possess the potential to severely threaten the US public’s health and safety …show more content…
The segmented virus then inserts its viral genome into the cell using nucleic acid. The Lujo virus is noted to encode proteins from the L-segment to ensure high replication rates. The S-segment of the virus encodes proteins that are noted to affect the immune response of the host, in addition to causing clotting of the blood that may damage organs. The Lujo virus can survive and spread via mammalian cells, and excrement of infected hosts. Small amounts of the virus can lead to infection and disease, with no notable difference in transmission is noted in patients with healthy immune systems or compromised immune systems. The Lujo virus is resistant to antibiotics, by its viral nature as it lacks bacterial structural components. Unlike the Lassa virus and similar arenaviruses, Lujo is noted to be resistant to a degree to ribavirin, an antiviral drug intended to stop the mechanisms behind RNA synthesis, although the methods behind the resistance is unclear.
f. Reservoir and Vector The Lujo virus infects and replicates within mammalian cells, and can be transmitted via contact or proximity to infected hosts. The reservoir of the Lujo virus is predicted to be rodents, as the Lujo virus like other arenaviruses can spread via infected rodents and other small animals. The rodent in question belongs to the Muridae family, rodents common to the area of South Africa,
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Exposure to excrements of infected, whether it be feces, urine, or otherwise can lead to infection. Fecal particles that become airborne may lead to infection if ingested or inhaled as it allows the virus to enter the gastrointestinal tract. Contact with blood, and similar fluids of infected individuals will lead to infection if openings in skin are present allow the virus to enter the body. In addition, improper antiseptic techniques can lead to health care workers to become infected if they do not take necessary precautions to disinfect equipment or their skin, as the virus may spread via contact with orifices or eyes, nose, and ears. The infectious dose of the Lujo virus is low, similar to other viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever. Aerosol transmission was noted to cause infection in one to 10 organisms, and like other arenaviruses needle injections to host are often

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