Author(s): Rek D, Yakimenko VV, Karan LS, Tkachev SE
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Abstract Omsk haemorrhagic fever is an acute viral disease prevalent in some regions of western Siberia in Russia. The symptoms of this disease include fever, headache, nausea, severe muscle pain, cough, and moderately severe haemorrhagic manifestations. A third of patients develop pneumonia, nephrosis, meningitis, or a combination of these complications. The only treatments available are for control of symptoms. No specific vaccine has been developed, although the vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis might provide a degree of protection against Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus. The virus is transmitted mainly by Dermacentor reticulatus ticks, but people are mainly infected after contact with infected muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus). Muskrats are very sensitive to Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus. The introduction of this species to Siberia in the 1930s probably led to viral emergence in this area, which had previously seemed free from the disease. Omsk haemorrhagic fever is, therefore, an example of a human disease that emerged owing to human-mediated disturbance of an ecological niche. We review the biological properties of the virus, and the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omsk haemorrhagic fever. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense