Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) refer to a group of illnesses that are caused by several distinct families of viruses. In general, the term "viral hemorrhagic fever" is used to describe a severe multisystem syndrome (multisystem in that multiple organ systems in the body are affected). Characteristically, the overall vascular system is damaged, and the body's ability to regulate itself is impaired. These symptoms are often accompanied by hemorrhage (bleeding); however, the bleeding is itself rarely life-threatening. While some types of hemorrhagic fever viruses can cause relatively mild illnesses, many of these viruses cause severe, life-threatening disease.
The deadly Ebola virus, an emerging public health concern in Africa and a potential biological weapon, ranks among the most feared of exotic pathogens.
In connection with last year's epidemic, a research team at Umea University in Sweden has managed for the first time to show that hantavirus exists in human saliva; this raises the question of whether this contagion can spread among humans
Health officials in the U.S. say the tropical infection Dengue fever is in danger of spreading across the country.
A disease most Americans have never heard of could soon become more prevalent if dengue, a flu-like illness that can turn deadly, continues to expand into temperate climates and increase in severity, according to a new commentary by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and David M. Morens, M.D., Fauci's senior scientific advisor.
When the alert goes out that a virus has invaded the body, cells that have yet to be attacked prepare by "armoring" themselves for combat, attaching specific antiviral molecules to many of their own proteins to help resist the invader.
With the latest reports suggesting that as many as 25 people have now fallen victim to the deadly virus, the new and mysterious strain of Ebola has infected some of the medical workers who treated patients without the aid of latex gloves and respirator gowns.
An outbreak of a new strain of the deadly Ebola virus in a remote area near the Democratic Republic of Congo is causing considerable concern.
Using a rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive diagnostic tool called MassTag PCR, scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Center for Infection and Immunity implicated a new human rhinovirus as the cause of severe pediatric respiratory tract infections in Europe.
The vaccine Tetravalent is manufactured by drug company Sanofi who say it will be ready to be submitted for approval by the year 2012.
The latest reports from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) say health workers are slowly winning the battle against the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
A mosquito-borne disease often known as "break-bone fever" has found a new enemy in a unique type of mouse.
Scientists have found that fruit bats that roost in caves could be the culprits in the spread of the deadly Marburg virus.
Scientists at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research have developed a new tool in the battle against a potential biological weapon, Lassa fever, which kills several thousand people each year and leaves thousands more with disabilities such as deafness and liver damage.
BioForce Nanosciences continues their effort to fund development of the ViriChip platform, a patented system designed to rapidly and nondestructively detect and identify whole viruses.
Severe cases of a common travelers' infection may not be recognized if doctors rely on the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines for identifying it, according to a new study published in the April 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.
Researchers in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Caribbean Primate Research Center have discovered a key mechanism by which the Filoviruses, Ebola and Marburg, cause disease.
The first step in the transmission of mosquito-borne viruses is no mystery: it's the pesky insect's bite that allows the virus to enter its victim's bloodstream.
Biochemists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have made a surprising discovery about the inner workings of a powerful virus - a discovery that they hope could one day lead to better vaccines or anti-virus medications.
Availability of safe platelets is a fundamental blood transfusion challenge and can be especially problematic in times of emergency. Several studies presented at the annual American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) meeting today demonstrate new approaches to counteract platelet shortages by enhancing the safety of whole blood derived platelets, precluding the need to rely on only those obtained through apheresis.
"Flaviviruses exact an enormous toll in terms of illness and death worldwide," notes NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "Because this is a relatively new field of study, everything we learn about how these viruses operate is significant.