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- Described 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
- Arenavirus genus member, single-stranded RNA virus
- Old World member, part of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus [LCMV]/Lassa complex
- Zoonosis as endemic, persistent, asymptomatic infection in rodent populations ["multimammate rat" (Mastomys natalensis)] within West Africa.
- Infected rodents shed virus in urine and droppings, which can be aerosolized.
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