Of all the animal virus families that cause disease in man least is known about members of Filoviridae. This family, which contains Marburg and Ebola viruses, is one member of the order Mononegavirales, RNA viruses with a single negative genomic strand. The natural history of the filoviruses is unknown, but they have on occasion caused small but lethal monkey or human epidemics. Each outbreak has been contained by increasing the precautions taken during contact with sick humans or non-human primates. Nevertheless, because of our ignorance of the genetics and natural history of these viruses, their established high pathogenicity for man and other primates, and their potential for causing aerosol infections, they continue to be of considerable concern for biomedical science.
- Emerging diseases
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