What is Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) ?
Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) refer to a number of different diseases characterised by the presence of fever, rash and bleeding. VHFs are caused by viruses belonging to four families of RNA viruses: the Arenaviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, and Flaviviridae. Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is endemic to South Africa. Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers and Lassa fever occur in central and West Africa. Human cases of hanta virus do not occur in South Africa/Africa. Typically, VHF is associated with high fatality rates in humans. Haemorrhagic fever (HF) viruses cause increased permeability of blood vessels and bleeding. This may present as a petechial rash, bleeding of internal organs, or bleeding from bodily orifices.