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Diseases & Topics

Hemorrhagic Fever

Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are caused by several kinds of viruses and are found across the world. Each virus is associated with one or more nonhuman hosts that carry and transmit disease, usually restricting the virus and the disease it causes to the areas where these species live.

People usually contract these diseases directly from infected animals such as rodents or monkeys, or through vectors such as mosquitoes or ticks. Once a person is infected with a VHF, person-to-person transmission is also possible and can result in large human outbreaks.

The risk of acquiring VHF is very low for most international travelers. People at increased risk for exposure to a VHF include those engaging in animal research, health-care workers, and others providing care for patients in the community, particularly where outbreaks of VHF are occurring. Those who work or explore in caves are also at risk from exposure to infected bats.

Prevention depends on the type of virus and the specific vectors or hosts that carry them.

For information on the current Ebola outbreak in Uganda, please click here.

For Additional Information