Viral Hemorrhagic Fever is a multisystem syndrome that affects multiple organs of the human body. It is caused by several viruses. Typically, the overall vascular system is damaged, and there is also hemorrhage (bleeding). However, the bleeding is itself rarely a life-threatening situation. While certain types of hemorrhagic fever viruses cause relatively mild illnesses, many of such viruses can cause severe, life-threatening condition.
What are Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers?
Viral hemorrhagic fevers are infectious diseases that can damage the walls of blood vessels obstructing blood’s ability to clot. Internal bleeding is a common phenomenon associated with such fevers. Dengue, Yellow Fever, Marburg, Lassa, Ebola are some of the commonly known viral hemorrhagic fevers.
What are the causes and symptoms of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever?
While one can develop viral hemorrhagic fevers through infected insects or animals, sometimes it can also spread through person-to-person transmission. The virus lives in the bodies of animal or insect hosts such as mosquitoes, bats, ticks, and rodents. A few viral hemorrhagic fevers are spread by tick bites or mosquito bites while others are spread by contact with infected body fluids like semen, saliva or blood. Some varieties can be inhaled from infected rat urine or feces.
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers symptoms may vary by disease. Early signs and symptoms may include:
- Weakness, fatigue or general feeling of being sick
- Joint, bone or muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
More severe symptoms may include:
- Nervous system malfunctions
- Bleeding in internal organs, under the skin, or from the ears, mouth or eyes
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
When should you see a doctor?
If you witness any of the above symptoms, you must visit your doctor for a diagnosis. Furthermore, if you are planning a trip to any country, where any of these viral illnesses are quite common, you should check with your doctor first about any possible vaccinations available.
Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals.
Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.
What are the risk factors of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever?
Living in an area where viral hemorrhagic fevers are common or traveling to such an area increases your risk of being infected by it. Other than that working with infected people, working outdoors or in rat-infested buildings, eating infected animals, having unprotected sex, sharing intravenous drug needles, and being exposed to infected body fluids or blood can increase your risk of developing such fevers. The disease can cause multiple organ failure, septic shock, and can also be fatal. Some viral hemorrhagic fevers are also contagious and can cause life-threatening illnesses.
How to prevent Viral Hemorrhagic Fever?
Since vaccines are the only possible cure for these diseases, until further vaccines are developed it is better to work on the prevention mechanism.
- If you work or live in an area where viral hemorrhagic fevers are common, then it is best to wear face shields, eye shields, and gloves to keep yourself protected from infected blood or body fluids.
- Mosquitoes and ticks are the most common hosts of spreading viral hemorrhagic fevers, so wear full sleeve clothes and permethrin-coated clothes to avoid them. Apply mosquito repellent on your skin, use mosquito nets and coils, and don’t stay outside during dusk and dawn because mosquitoes are most active during that time.
- If your place witnesses a sudden outbreak of viral hemorrhagic fevers, try your best to keep the rodents out of your home. Dispose of garbage quickly, make sure your windows and doors have tight-fitting screens, and store trash in rodent-proof containers.
Are there any treatments for Viral Hemorrhagic Fever?
Unfortunately, there are no specific remedies to treat viral hemorrhagic fevers. Vaccinations are the best forms of treatment available for these diseases. Generally, the yellow fever vaccine is considered safe and effective. Yellow fever vaccine is not recommended for:
- Children below 9 months of age
- Pregnant women, especially during the first trimester
- People with compromised immune systems
There is also an Ebola vaccination that protects against one type of Ebola.
While there isn’t any specific treatment for most viral hemorrhagic fevers, Ribavirin (Rebetol, Virazole), an antiviral drug may shorten the course of some infections and prevent complications in some individuals. Other medications are being developed.
Undergoing supportive therapy is a necessary form of treatment for viral hemorrhagic fevers. Dehydration is a common symptom of such fevers, so staying hydrated and maintaining the balance of electrolytes in your body is important.
In case you are undergoing kidney failure, then kidney dialysis is recommended for removing waste from your body.
Identifying the symptoms, causes, treatment options, remedies, and prevention mechanisms of viral hemorrhagic fevers is crucial to prevent such diseases. Where vaccines are available, it is the safest and best way to prevent these infections. Nevertheless, before you opt for any treatment, we always recommend getting advice from your doctor or other medical professionals. If you have any queries regarding viral hemorrhagic fevers don’t hesitate to book an appointment at Apollo Hospitals. You can call 1860-500-1066 now and get an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1: How are rodents related to the prevention of viral hemorrhagic fevers?
Controlling rodent population, encouraging safe cleanup of rodent droppings and rodent nests can be a successful way of preventing viral hemorrhagic fevers.
2: How are the viruses transmitted in viral hemorrhagic fevers?
Mostly, the virus is transmitted when humans come in contact with the infected animal or of another person’s urine, blood, body fluids, saliva, or fecal matter. Contaminated needles and syringes and eating or slaughtering, or taking care of infected animals can also cause virus transmission.
3: What are the common viral hemorrhagic fevers in India?
Kyasanur Forest Disease, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, Chikungunya fever, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever are some of the most common viral hemorrhagic fevers found in India.