Historically, the term viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) refers to a clinical illness or syndrome characterized by high fever and a bleeding diathesis caused by a virus in one of four virus families . The four virus families that cause VHF are Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Flaviviridae, and Filoviridae. Currently, 12 specific viruses cause VHF, but the number is likely to expand as new viruses emerge. While all of the VHFs are caused by small RNA viruses with lipid envelopes , the viruses are biologically, geographically, and ecologically diverse. Most of the VHFs are zoonoses (transmissible from animal to man). The ecology and host reservoir of the viruses that cause VHF, except for the Filoviridae, are well-defined. Transmission to humans may occur from contact with the infected reservoir, a bite from an infected arthropod, aerosols generated from infected rodent excreta, or direct contact with infected patients or animal carcasses . With the exception of the flaviviruses and Rift Valley fever (RVF), which are not considered transmissible from person to person, infected humans can spread VHF infection to close contacts [1,2].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)