Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers
(filoviruses [e.g., Ebola, Marburg]
and arenaviruses [e.g., Lassa, Machupo])
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) refer to a group
of illnesses that are caused by several distinct families of viruses. In
general, the term "viral hemorrhagic fever" is used to describe a severe
multisystem syndrome (multiple organ systems in the body are affected).
Characteristically, the overall vascular system is damaged, and the body's
ability to regulate itself is impaired. These symptoms are often accompanied
by hemorrhage (bleeding); however, the bleeding is itself rarely life-threatening.
While some types of hemorrhagic fever viruses can cause relatively mild
illnesses, many of these viruses cause severe, life-threatening disease.
For more information about viral hemorrhagic fevers please visit the CDC website.