Hemorrhagic fever is caused due to a group of viruses and is characterized by damage to the vascular system of the body, which in turn may be associated with bleeding. While, hemorrhagic fevers may rarely cause internal bleeding, the condition is life threatening, which mandates the need for prompt treatment of hemorrhagic fevers. These kind of hemorrhagic fevers are usually caused by virus and hence also referred to as viral hemorrhagic fevers.
Hemorrhagic fever damages the vascular system of the body, which in turn results in damage to several organs and hence is also referred to as multi-system syndrome.There are different types of viruses which cause hemorrhagic fever, however the more frequently known and common viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever include dengue and yellow fever.
Hemorrhagic fever not only damages the vascular system of the body, but also affects the body’s ability to regulate itself and repair the damage. While not the viral infections may result in hemorrhagic fever, the condition needs to be treated promptly to prevent complications.
Transmission Of Hemorrhagic Fever
Hemorrhagic fever is caused by four types of viral families- filoviruses, bunyaviruses, arenaviruses and flaviviruses. Here are certain facts related to transmission of hemorrhagic fever,
- The virus causing hemorrhagic fevers survives in the body of a host, which is referred to as the natural reservoir. This host may be an animal or a vector (insect)
- The different types of viruses are restricted across specific geographical locations, depending upon where the host species are present.
- Humans don’t act as natural reservoirs however they get infected when they come in contact with the infected hosts.
- In some cases, humans may accidentally transmit the virus from one person to another, though this is relatively rare.
Hemorrhagic Fever Symptoms
While in most cases, patients infected with hemorrhagic fever may manifest mild symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. However in some cases, hemorrhagic fever may result in damage to the entire vascular system in the body and may result in damage to multiple internal organs. In such severe cases, some of the common symptoms associated with hemorrhagic fever include,
- Internal bleeding may be present. This may result in bleeding within the gastrointestinal tract resulting in black specks of vomit or even blood in stools.
- Hemorrhage or small blood spots may be present on the skin, especially on the hands and the feet.
- Bleeding from the gums, bleeding from the nose, etc may be some of the symptoms that may be present. In most cases, blood reports are indicative of drop in the platelet count, which result in the bleeding.
- Other system symptoms may include high grade fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and generalized weakness.
Hemorrhagic Fever History
While the there is no specific cure for viral hemorrhagic fever, the treatment comprises of specific focus on improving the symptoms associated with the condition.
Hemorrhagic fever history is often indicative of an exposure to a vector or an animal source, which may act as a natural reservoir for the infection. However there are frequent outbreaks of hemorrhagic fevers which are caused due to spread of the virus sporadically within a group of the population. Unfortunately there is no specific way of predicting the outbreak.