Viral hemorrhagic fever

Viral hemorrhagic fever: Description, Causes and Risk Factors:Viral hemorrhagic feverAn epidemic disease, and associated with fever, malaise, muscular pain, respiratory tract symptoms, vomiting, and diarrhea; epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematemesis, and subconjunctival hemorrhages occur in severe cases, and body rash and tremors occur in some instances; a disease caused by a number of different viruses in the families Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Flaviviridae, Filoviridae.Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses. These include the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa virus, and yellow fever viruses. Viral hemorrhagic fevers have common features: they affect many organs, they damage the blood vessels, and they affect the body's ability to regulate itself. Some VHFs cause mild disease, but some, like Ebola or Marburg, cause severe disease and death.Viral hemorrhagic fever is found around the world. Specific diseases are usually limited to areas where the animals that carry them live. For example, Lassa virus is limited to rural areas of west Africa where rats and mice carry the virus.Most of what is known about the transmission of the HFVs is derived from naturally occurring outbreaks.The risk for travelers is low, but you should avoid visiting areas where there are disease outbreaks or endemics. Because there are no effective treatments for some of these viral infections, there is concern about their use in Bioterrorism. In the places where there is disease outbreaks, social gatherings and other activities involving close human contact were also limited to help limit the spread of the virus.Symptoms:Specific signs and symptoms vary by the type of VHF, but initial signs and symptoms often include marked fever, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, loss of strength, and exhaustion. Patients with severe cases of VHF often show signs of bleeding under the skin, in internal organs, or from body orifices like the mouth, eyes, or ears. However, although they may bleed from many sites around the body, patients rarely die because of blood loss. Severely ill patient cases may also show shock, nervous system malfunction, coma, delirium, and seizures. Some types of VHF are associated with renal failure.Diagnosis:Diagnosis of VHF is based on clinical presentation of symptoms and confirmed by Laboratory testing. This can be challenging because numerous symptoms might be present. There are no rapid clinical diagnostic tests available.The mechanisms and symptoms for each disease are slightly different, but infection with any of these viruses may lead to thrombocytopenia (a low number of platelets in the blood) and coagulation abnormalities that may lead to prolonged bleeding. Because these illnesses are not endemic to the U.S., the diagnosis of any case of VHF in a person without travel and exposure risk factors (mentioned above) would be cause for suspicion of bioterrorism. Suspected cases of VHF should be reported immediately to a Local & State health department.Treatment:Currently, there are no approved antiviral medications for the treatment of any of the VHFs. VirazoleTM, when used in combination with interferon (a drug approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C), RebetronSM is active against 2 families of VHFs (Arenaviridae & Bunyaviridae). Unfortunately, no antiviral medications have been shown to be useful in the treatment of the other families of viruses (Filoviridae and Flaviviridae). Because there are no approved antiviral drugs to prevent or treat VHFs, treatment is primarily supportive. Prevention of HFVs is essential and is primarily dependent on standard barrier precautions and identification of high-risk individuals who have had close contact with infected persons.NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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