Crossed Words: Going viral

Answers to clues are placed horizontally in rows to reveal an answer written vertically. Unlike the familiar acrostic puzzle format, the final answer can be in any column.

Horizontal clues

1) It coapts with its partner

2) Definition: Remove the need

3) __________ process: stochastic process in which events occur continuously and independently of one another (e.g., radioactive decay of atoms)

4) ________ CJD: median duration of illness 4 to 5 months, median age at death 68

5) Salt or ester of tannic acid, complexed to active agent in many medications

The puzzle grid is located Table 1. Find in the vertical columns: Rodent-associated cause of viral hemorrhagic fever first described in 1969 in Nigeria.

Answer: Lassa fever

The answer grid is located Table 2.

Photo by iStockphoto
Photo by iStockphoto

Lassa fever, endemic to portions of West Africa, is a hemorrhagic fever spread primarily through contact with infected rats. It is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases originated. A crude estimate of Lassa virus infections per year in West Africa is estimated at 100,000 to 300,000, with approximately 5,000 deaths. Approximately 15%-20% of patients hospitalized for Lassa fever die from the illness. However, overall only about 1% of infections with Lassa virus result in death. (Source: CDC, online. )