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Viral haemorrhagic fever in children
  1. Nathalie E MacDermott1,
  2. Surjo De2,
  3. Jethro A Herberg1
  1. 1Section of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Imported Fever Service, Public Health England, Porton Down, Wiltshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jethro A Herberg, Section of Paediatrics, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK; j.herberg{at}


Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are currently at the forefront of the world's attention due to the recent Zaire ebolavirus epidemic in West Africa. This epidemic has highlighted the frailty of the world's public health response mechanisms and demonstrated the potential risks to nations around the world of imported cases of epidemic diseases. While imported cases in children are less likely, the potential for such a scenario remains. It is therefore essential that paediatricians are aware of and prepared for potential imported cases of tropical diseases, VHFs being of particular importance due to their propensity to cause nosocomial spread. Examining the four families of viruses—Filoviridae, Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae and Flaviviridae, we describe the different types of VHFs, with emphasis on differentiation from other diseases through detailed history-taking, their presentation and management from a paediatric perspective.

  • Viral haemorrhagic fever
  • Children
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Marburg virus
  • Lassa fever

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