Pathophysiology: Viral hemorrhagic fever (VHFs) is a general term to severe group of illness caused by RNA viruses from several viral families. It is a severe multisystem syndrome caused by infectious viruses which lead to a potentially lethal disease syndrome characterized by fever, malaise, vomiting, mucosal and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.VHF is caused by viruses of four families: arenaviruses, filoviruses, bunyaviruses, and flaviviruses.
Disease Statistics: According to study published in 2002, there have been very few imported cases of VHF in Switzerland: one confirmed and four suspected cases of Ebola fever in Basel in 1994, two suspected cases of Ebola and Lassa fevers in Lausanne in 2000, and in the same year, six suspected cases of Lassa fever in Geneva.
Treatment: Patients usually receive supportive therapy but as such there are no other treatment or established cure for VHFs. Ribavirin, an anti-viral drug, have been effective in treating some individuals with Lassa fever or HFRS. Treatment with convalescent-phase plasma has been used with success in some patients with Argentine hemorrhagic fever.
Research: Researchers involved in the study were from Infection Control Programme and Medical Intensive Care Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.