Arenaviridae

This transmission electron micrograph depicted eight virions (viral particles) of a newly-discovered virus, which was determined to be a member of the genus, Arenavirus. A cause of fatal hemorrhagic fever, it was confirmed that this virus was responsible for causing illness in five South Africans, four of whom died having succumbed to its devastating effects. Ultrastructurally, these round Arenavirus virions displayed the characteristic “sandy”, or granular capsid, i.e., outer skin, an appearance from which the Latin name, "arena", was derived. See PHIL 10838 for a black and white version of this image.  Other members of the genus Arenavirus, include the West African Lassa fever virus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as Machupo virus, all of which are spead to humans through their inhalation of airborne particulates originating from rodent excrement, which can occur during the simple act of sweeping a floor.

From the CDC: “This transmission electron micrograph depicted eight virions (viral particles) of a newly-discovered virus, which was determined to be a member of the genus, Arenavirus. A cause of fatal hemorrhagic fever, it was confirmed that this virus was responsible for causing illness in five South Africans, four of whom died having succumbed to its devastating effects.

Ultrastructurally, these round Arenavirus virions displayed the characteristic “sandy”, or granular capsid, i.e., outer skin, an appearance from which the Latin name, “arena”, was derived. See PHIL 10838 for a black and white version of this image.

Other members of the genus Arenavirus, include the West African Lassa fever virus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), also known as Machupo virus, all of which are spread to humans through their inhalation of airborne particulates originating from rodent excrement, which can occur during the simple act of sweeping a floor.”

Image credit: CDC/Charles Humphrey

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