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Abstract

Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) have attracted the attention of the medical world and general public for many reasons, some based in reality and more on misinformation. They are amongst the highest profile infections in the public mind, because they are thought to be highly infectious and to kill most of their victims in a dramatic way (1,2). To add to the intrigue, mysteries remain about the source of some of the viruses involved. They emerge and re-emerge in many countries, most recently Ebola in Uganda in 2000 (3) and Gabon in 2001/02 (4), and Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Kosovo (5) and Pakistan in 2001 (6). Large outbreaks have affected populations in endemic areas, living mainly in inaccessible areas or refugee camps where living conditions are very difficult. Poorly resourced medical facilities have played a role in amplifying transmission and infection control measures have been difficult or virtually impossible to establish. These viruses are likely to remain a threat until the reservoir is identified and as long as endemic areas are afflicted with ecological change, poverty and social instability. Recent events since September 11 2001 remind us of their potential to be used as weapons, and that fear can present a risk to public health.

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/content/10.2807/esm.07.03.00343-en
2002-03-01
2017-11-17
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/esm.07.03.00343-en
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