Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs)

Hazard Recognition

Risk factors for viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) include travel to geographic areas where these diseases may naturally occur, handling of animal carcasses, contact with animals or people with the disease, and arthropod bites. The following references aid in recognizing disease characteristics and hazards associated with VHFs.

Disease Recognition
Bioterrorist Threat Evaluation

Factors that contribute to the bioterrorism potential of VHFs include infectious properties, morbidity and mortality, transmissibility by way of aerosol dissemination, and prior research and development as biological weapons. The following references provide information that may help evaluate the threat of viral hemorrhagic fevers being used as biological weapons.

  • Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) Overview. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). Offers comprehensive overview with links to a list of countries that have either weaponized VHFs or have conducted biological weapons research on these viruses. Also links to hemorrhagic fever viruses that pose serious threats as potential biological weapons.
  • Healthcare system not ready for attack with hemorrhagic fever viruses. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), (May 8, 2002). Discusses a report released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) regarding how poorly prepared the healthcare system is to combat a terrorist attack involving VHFs.
  • Borio, L., et al. "Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses as Biological Weapons." Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 287.18(May 8, 2002): 2391-2405. Contains information on the history of tularemia and its use in biowarfare, as well as epidemiology, clinical images, diagnosis, vaccination, treatment, and infection control.