Arenaviruses Treatment & Management

Updated: May 12, 2019
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Medical Care

No specific medical care is required for mild infections associated with any of the Arenaviridae. [11] Specific and/or careful symptomatic care is needed in more severe infections associated with those agents linked to hemorrhagic fever.

LCMV infection requires no more than symptomatic treatment.

In overt cases of Lassa fever or any of the South American hemorrhagic fevers, aggressive treatment is needed to attempt to diminish morbidity and mortality.

Supportive care related to blood pressure monitoring/control and careful attention to fluid and electrolytic balance can be lifesaving.

The antiviral drug ribavirin is used in Lassa fever and has also shown efficacy in cases of South American hemorrhagic fever.

Convalescent human plasma has been used with some success in the treatment of Junin virus infection. The lack of parallel success in Lassa fever may be related to low and delayed titers of the specific neutralizing antibody in Lassa fever.



With a compatible illness and travel history, any individual in whom either Lassa fever or one of the South American hemorrhagic fevers is suggested should have immediate consultation with an infectious disease physician and the local public health authorities. The Centers for Disease Control Emergency Operations Center offers consultation and diagnostic assistance at 770-488-7100.