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Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

What are viral hemorrhagic fevers?
Where are viral hemorrhagic fevers found?
What are the symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fevers?
How are viral hemorrhagic fevers spread?
If I’ve been exposed to viral hemorrhagic fevers, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
What treatments are available for viral hemorrhagic fevers? How serious are the diseases?
Where can I get more information on viral hemorrhagic fevers?

What are viral hemorrhagic fevers?
Viral hemorrhagic fevers are caused by several distinct families of viruses. The term is used to describe severe syndromes that affect multiple organ systems in the body, causing the body to be unable to regulate itself properly. The illnesses usually are accompanied by hemorrhagic bleeding. The most well known viral hemorrhagic fever is the Ebola virus.

Where are viral hemorrhagic fevers found?
Viral hemorrhagic fevers are found worldwide, but because each virus is associated with one or more particular host species, the virus and the disease it causes are usually seen only where the host species lives. An increase in international travel can lead to the viruses being introduced in areas of the world where they have never been seen.

What are the symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fevers?
Symptoms can differ, but generally include:

In severe cases, symptoms can include:

How are viral hemorrhagic fevers spread?
The viruses are initially spread to humans through contact with an infected animal or its feces, urine, saliva or blood. They are spread from human-to-human through close contact with an infected person and their fluids, or through indirect contact, such as touching an infected surface and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth.

If I’ve been exposed to viral hemorrhagic fevers, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
The initial symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fevers can occur between two and 21 days after exposure.

What treatments are available for viral hemorrhagic fevers? How serious are the diseases?
Anti-viral drugs can be administered to those ill with viral hemorrhagic fevers, along with rest, fluids and other supportive care. Many of the viruses cause severe, life-threatening illnesses.  

Where can I get more information on viral hemorrhagic fevers?
For more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  or you can call the Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Sources: Northern Kentucky Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention