South African Medical Journal

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Viral haemorrhagic fevers in South Africa

GA Richards, J Weyer, LH Blumberg


Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) include a diverse array of diseases caused by a broad range of viruses  transmitted from various animal hosts and originating from almost all the continents in the world. These are potentially fatal and highly transmissible diseases without specific treatments or prophylactic vaccines. As  has been demonstrated during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, the consequences of VHFs are  not limited to specific countries – they may become epidemic, and may have considerable economic impact   and disrupt local public health and social service structures. Intensive public health intervention is necessary  to contain these diseases. Here we provide a concise overview of the VHFs that are of current public health  importance to South Africa.
AJOL African Journals Online