Fevers, viral hemorrhagic

Other names: Viral hemorrhagic fevers

DEFINITION

Viral hemorrhagic fevers are infectious diseases that interfere with the blood's ability to clot, leading to internal bleeding that can range from relatively minor to life-threatening. Some examples of viral hemorrhagic fevers include Dengue, Ebola, Lassa, Marburg, and Yellow fever. These diseases are most commonly found in tropical areas and are usually seen in individuals who have recently traveled internationally.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fevers may include high fever, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, weakness, and in severe cases can lead to bleeding under the skin or in internal organs. Other signs of severe infections can include shock, nervous system malfunctions, coma, delirium, kidney failure, and liver failure.

CAUSES

The viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers are naturally hosted by animals and insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, rodents, or bats. These viruses are typically transmitted through contact with infected animals, people, or insects. Each virus has specific hosts and geographic areas where they are prevalent.

RISK FACTORS

Factors that increase the risk of contracting viral hemorrhagic fevers include living in or traveling to areas where the virus is common, working with infected individuals or animals, sharing needles for drug use, engaging in unprotected sex, and working in environments with rodents.

COMPLICATIONS

Viral hemorrhagic fevers can lead to severe complications affecting various organs such as the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and spleen. In some cases, these complications can be fatal.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing viral hemorrhagic fevers can be challenging due to overlapping symptoms with other diseases. Doctors may inquire about medical history and travel details and conduct laboratory tests on blood samples to confirm a diagnosis.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

While there is no specific treatment for most viral hemorrhagic fevers, antiviral drugs like ribavirin may help shorten the course of some infections. Supportive care including fluid replacement therapy and kidney dialysis may be necessary in severe cases.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Preventing viral hemorrhagic fevers involves vaccination when available (e.g., Yellow fever vaccine), avoiding mosquito and tick bites by wearing protective clothing and using repellents when in outbreak areas, and taking measures to prevent rodent infestations in living spaces.


QUESTIONS

  1. What are some examples of viral hemorrhagic fevers?

Dengue

Ebola

Lassa

Marburg

Yellow fever

  1. How are viral hemorrhagic fevers transmitted?

Through contact with infected animals, people or insects.

  1. What are common symptoms of viral hemorrhagic fevers?

High fever

Fatigue

Dizziness

Muscle aches

Weakness

  1. How can viral hemorrhagic fevers be diagnosed?

Through laboratory tests on blood samples.

  1. Is there a specific treatment for most viral hemorrhagic fevers?

No specific treatment exists; supportive care is essential.

  1. What is a preventive measure for viral hemorrhagic fevers?

Vaccination when available.

  1. Which organ systems can be affected by complications of these fevers?

Brain

Eyes

Heart

Kidneys

Liver

Lungs

Spleen

  1. What factors increase the risk of contracting these fevers?

Living/traveling to endemic areas

Working with infected individuals/animals

Sharing needles for drug use

  1. How can one guard against mosquitoes and ticks carrying these viruses?

Wearing protective clothing

Using mosquito repellents

  1. Why is early diagnosis important for treating viral hemorrhagic fevers?

To prevent severe complications and improve outcomes