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Hemorrhagic Fevers

Also called: VHFs

Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses. These include the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, and yellow fever viruses. VHFs 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.

VHFs are found around the world. Specific diseases are usually limited to areas where the animals that carry them live. For example, Lassa fever is limited to rural areas of West Africa where rats and mice carry the virus.

The risk for travelers is low, but you should avoid visiting areas where there are disease outbreaks. Because there are no effective treatments for some of these viral infections, there is concern about their use in bioterrorism.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following features are indicative of Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • high fever
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • bone ache
  • joint aches
  • weakness
  • bleeding
  • swelling
  • low blood pressure
  • shock
  • malaise
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • coma
  • sepsis
  • delirium
  • kidney failure
  • respiratory fever
  • liver failure

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Common Causes of Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following are the most common causes of Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • ebola virus
  • marburg virus
  • lassa fever virus
  • yellow fever virus

Risk Factors for Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • slaughtering infected animals
  • sharing needles to use intravenous drugs
  • having unprotected sex
  • working outdoors
  • working with the sick

Prevention of Hemorrhagic Fevers

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hemorrhagic Fevers. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • prevent rodent infestations in home
  • avoid mosquitoes and ticks
  • using appropriate protective barriers during contact with blood or body fluids

Occurrence of Hemorrhagic Fevers

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hemorrhagic Fevers cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hemorrhagic Fevers can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Hemorrhagic Fevers can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • Blood tests: To diagnose the viral hemorrhagic fevers

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hemorrhagic Fevers

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Hemorrhagic Fevers if untreated

Yes, Hemorrhagic Fevers causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hemorrhagic Fevers is left untreated:
  • brain damage
  • eyes damage
  • heart damage
  • kidneys damage
  • liver damage
  • lung damage
  • spleen damage
  • can be fatal

Procedures for Treatment of Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following procedures are used to treat Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • Kidney dialysis: To eliminate wastes from your blood

Self-care for Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hemorrhagic Fevers:
  • Avoid mosquitoes and ticks: Helps in preventing viral hemorrhagic fevers
  • Dispose off garbage on a regular basis: To prevent rodent infestations in your home

Patient Support for Treatment of Hemorrhagic Fevers

The following actions may help Hemorrhagic Fevers patients:
  • Supportive care: To prevent dehydration

Is Hemorrhagic Fevers Infectious?

Yes, Hemorrhagic Fevers is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • direct contact
  • infected blood
  • infected semen
  • mosquito or tick bites

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hemorrhagic Fevers.
Biodefense and Bioterrorism
Viral Infections

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