Viral haemorrhagic fevers in South Africa

Guy A Richards, Jacqueline Weyer, Lucille Blumberg


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. 

Authors' affiliations

Guy A Richards, Division of Critical Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

Jacqueline Weyer, Centre for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, Johannesburg, South Africa

Lucille Blumberg, Division for Public Health, Surveillance and Response, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Viral haemorrhagic fevers; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(9):748-751. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.8330

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-04-08
Date published: 2015-09-14

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