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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


RICHARDS, G A; WEYER, J  and  BLUMBERG, L H. Viral haemorrhagic fevers in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2015, vol.105, n.9, pp.748-751. ISSN 2078-5135.

Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) include a diverse array of diseases caused by a broad range of viruses transmitted from various animal hosts and originating from almost all the continents in the world. These are potentially fatal and highly transmissible diseases without specific treatments or prophylactic vaccines. As has been demonstrated during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, the consequences of VHFs are not limited to specific countries - they may become epidemic, and may have considerable economic impact and disrupt local public health and social service structures. Intensive public health intervention is necessary to contain these diseases. Here we provide a concise overview of the VHFs that are of current public health importance to South Africa.

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