West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Viral Hemorrhagic Fever: Information for Public Health Officials

A Group of Viruses

Unique Epidemiological Characteristics

  • No natural reservoir in West Virginia
  • A newly reported case should be urgently investigated considering:
    • travel
    • BT
  • Incubation: 2-21 days
  • Mortality: .5 to 90%, depending on the agent – Emergency
  • Person-to-person transmission: by direct contact; possibly by aerosol
  • Environmental: these lipid-enveloped viruses are not expected to be environmentally hardy; expert consultation recommended
  • Prophylaxis: none
  • Treatment: ribavirin (experimental) for arenaviruses or bunyaviridae

Laboratory confirmation:

  • Implications: use a clinical case definition to confirm cases during the early part of a reported outbreak

Employee health

  • Employees who will have direct patient contact should be supplied with an N-95 mask or a powered air-purifying respirator, gloves, gowns, eye protection, etc.

Lifesaving interventions – in order:

  1. Recognition / reporting / case-finding + aerosol and contact isolation
  2. Identification + recommendations for treatment (if appropriate)

Training considerations:

  • Physicians: recognition / reporting / isolation / treatment
  • ICPs: reporting, active surveillance procedures, isolation
  • Local health departments, regional epidemiologists: Investigation / isolation
  • IDEP / DSDC / BPH: investigation / communication / prioritization of control measure


Related Links

CDC - Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Page