Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) is a viral disease spread from rodents to other rodents and humans. LCM can have serious effects on human fetuses during the first two trimesters and on people with suppressed immune systems.


As more people adopt small pets called pocket pets (because many of them will fit in a pocket), there are more pet rodents ending up in households.

Many healthy people, nearly one-third of those infected with LCMV, will not develop any symptoms of illness. For healthy people who do become ill, nearly half of them will develop only mild symptoms, with no neurological involvement.

People who become more ill with LCM will develop a two-phase disease. The first phase is called the initial viremia stage. Symptoms appear 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to LCMV and include nonspecific, flulike symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, headache, sore throat, and a nonproductive cough. This phase lasts up to a week.

The second phase of LCM is called the secondary viremia stage, which develops as the patient seems to recover from the first phase. It is characterized by a more severe headache, a stiff neck, and encephalitis, which is characterized by drowsiness, fever, confusion, nausea, and/or paralysis.

LCM has been associated with a buildup of fluid on the brain, leading to hydrocephalus, which requires surgical release.

Women who become infected with LCMV during the first two trimesters of pregnancy can pass the virus to the fetus. This can result in fetal death or congenital problems such as hydrocephalus, microcephaly, or chorioretinitis.

People with suppressed immune systems, including people with HIV/AIDS, people receiving chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, and people using steroids are at greater risk for developing a more severe illness.

Some patients have a prolonged recovery, which may last several months. During this time they may experience headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

Oct 1, 2016 | Posted by in EXOTIC, WILD, ZOO | Comments Off on LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS

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