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Hemorrhagic Fever

Hemorrhagic Fever is a medical term which refers to a group of illnesses, typically caused by certain viruses, such as Ebola and Hanta, which are characterized by fever and systemic vascular damage and may lead to bleeding or hemorrhage.

As hemorrhagic fever is a viral disease by nature, antibiotics would definitely be of no use.  Since specific anti-virals have not been discovered yet, anti-viral therapy has not been widely used for the treatment of hemorrhagic fever.  Though some types of hemorrhagic fever have shown to be responsive to the anti-viral ribavirin, which was noted to shorten the course of the disease and decreased the incidence of complications.

In most cases, the treatment regimen for hemorrhagic fever is basically symptomatic and supportive.  For the symptomatic treatment of fever, anti-pyretic like paracetamol may be given.  Nevertheless, avoid using aspirin. Supportive therapy includes:

Fluid Management.  To prevent dehydration, correct hemo-concentration, electrolyte imbalance and possible hypotension. 

Maintain Normal Oxygenation.  Use of oxygen might be warranted or even mechanical respirators.

Vasopressors in case of hypotension.

Dialysis may be warranted if kidney damage or failure ensues as one of the complications.

Anti-Seizure Therapy may also be prepared in cases of uncontrolled electrolyte imbalance.

The management and aggressiveness of treatment still depends on the severity or stage of the illness.

Though most cases of hemorrhagic fever would spontaneously resolve without complications, severe cases may lead to hemorrhagic shock.  Nevertheless, the prognosis would still depend on the following factors: virulence of the virus, severity of the illness, the health of the individual, the possibility of affecting other organs like the lungs and other factors. Ebola virus is one of the most lethal among the viruses which causes hemorrhagic fever; the mortality being high in this case.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.