US health authorities report that a US man died of a rare African virus in New Jersey after returning from West Africa but the risk of infection is very low.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the man died of Lassa fever. Although the virus triggers hemorrhagic symptoms, it differs from Ebola.
The US man, who was not identified, had traveled from Liberia to Morocco before arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. He was hospitalized on May 21, 2015 after an initial hospital visit during which doctors failed to identify the virus.
It was only hours before his death that blood samples analyzed by the CDC tested positive for Lassa fever. The patient was in an isolation unit at the time of his death, according to the CDC.
The CDC said it was working to identify those who came in contact with the patient, and that his close contacts will be monitored for 21 days to see if any symptoms emerge.
The New Jersey case was the sixth known of its kind since 1969 involving a traveler returning from Africa, without counting those in recovery.
The virus is carried by rodents and transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or droppings of an infected rodent. It is rarely transmitted among humans, through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person, through mucous membranes or sexual contact.