Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs)
It is a US Public Health Service requirement that all suspected viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) cases be reported to state and local health departments and the diagnoses confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The preparedness of hospitals depends on the biological agent used in an attack. In an emergency, local medical care capacity will be supplemented with federal resources. The following references focus on the preparedness and response of the medical community in the event of a terrorist attack involving VHFs.
- Training. University of Washington, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP). Provides training that educates the public workforce in relevant aspects of bioterrorism preparedness and response.
- Preparing for and Responding to Bioterrorism: Information for the Public Health Workforce
- Braden, J. B. and J. Duchin. Tularemia and Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. (Revised July 2002). Provides information for primary care clinicians (Instructor manual 6).
- Lazarus, Ross, et al. "Use of Automated Ambulatory-Care Encounter Records for Detection of Acute Illness Clusters, Including Potential Bioterrorism Events." Emerging Infectious Diseases 8.8(August 2002). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Describes a monitoring system that complements emergency room- and hospital-based surveillance by adding the capacity to rapidly identify clusters of illness, including potential bioterrorism events.
- Infection Control for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers In the African Health Care Setting. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO). Provides resources for healthcare professionals.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Treatment is available for some, but not all, VHFs. In the event of an outbreak, routine infection control procedures, isolation, and decontamination are usually enough to stop transmission. Patients receive supportive therapy, but generally speaking, there is no other treatment or established cure for VHFs.
- Viral Hemorrhagic Fever. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). Includes news, an overview, links to images, and resources.
- Notice to Readers Update: Management of Patients with Suspected Viral Hemorrhagic Fever - United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 44(25); 475-479, (June 30, 1995). Provides an update to the recommendations given in the document listed below. Focuses on measures designed to control the spread of infection in VHF patients.