- Safety and Health Topics
- Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs)
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs)
Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of diseases caused by ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses from four distinct families. These diseases include Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever, Lassa fever, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and Yellow Fever. Symptoms vary with the disease, but often include fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. There may be bleeding, although death from blood loss is rare. Severe cases can include shock and coma. Although some types of VHFs are relatively mild illnesses, many of them can cause severe, life-threatening disease with high fatality rates.
Along with smallpox, anthrax, plague, botulism, and tularemia, hemorrhagic fever viruses are among the six agents identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the most likely to be used as biological weapons. Many VHFs can cause severe, life-threatening disease with high fatality rates.
OSHA standards do not specifically address viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs).
Provides references to aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with VHFs.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.