Diagnosing specific viral hemorrhagic fevers in the first few days of illness can be difficult because the initial signs and symptoms — high fever, muscle aches, headaches and extreme fatigue — are common to many other diseases.
To help with diagnosis, your doctor is likely to ask about your medical and travel history and any exposure to rodents or mosquitoes. Be sure to describe international trips in detail, including the countries you visited and the dates, as well as any contact you may have had with possible sources of infection.
Laboratory tests, usually using a sample of your blood, are needed to confirm a diagnosis. Because viral hemorrhagic fevers are particularly virulent and contagious, these tests are usually performed in specially designated laboratories using strict precautions.
Mar. 05, 2013
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Nov. 27, 2012.
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers: Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/vhf.htm. Accessed Nov. 27, 2012.
- Rollin PE. Viral hemorrhagic fevers. 2012 Yellow Book. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/viral-hemorrhagic-fevers.htm. Accessed Nov. 27, 2012.
- Ippolito G, et al. Viral hemorrhagic fevers: Advancing the level of treatment. BMC Medicine. 2012;10:1741.
- Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Nov. 27, 2012.
- Meltzer E. Arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF). Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2012;26:479.
- Wilder-Smith A. Dengue infections in travellers. Paediatrics and International Child Health. 2012;32:28.
- MacNeil A, et al. Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers: Neglected tropical diseases? Public Library of Science. 2012;6:e1546.
- Clean up rodent food sources and nesting sites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_infestations/clean_up.html. Accessed Dec. 3, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.