Treatment of Lassa fever with ribavirin and favipiravir

October 10, 2017

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The authors describe the first two cases of patients with Lassa fever being treated with a combination of ribavirin and favipiravir. They both acquired the infection through secondary spread from the same index case. Patient E was a previously healthy 33-year-old who was admitted to a specialist unit on day 8, having received treatment for 3 days with artemether/lumefantrine followed by ribavirin PO for 5 days. IV ribavirin and favipiravir 2000mg PO were started upon admission. Favipiravir was discontinued on day 12 and ribavirin reduced in dose and stopped on day 15. Patient E’s fever abated on day 12 but he developed a painful lymphadenopathy on day 14, epididumitis on days 19 to 21 and night sweats on day 22. Patient F was treated with IV ribavirin and favipiravir 1200mg PO daily from day 3 for 8 days and 4 days, respectively. Both patients survived but developed transaminitis and still had prolonged detectable virus RNA in their blood and semen, suggesting that sexual transmission of Lassa virus may still occur.

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Raabe VN, Kann G, Ribner BS, Morales A, Varkey JB, et al. ISSN: Clin Infect Dis; 65(5): 855–859


Added: October 10, 2017