Viruses Causing Hemorrhagic Fever. Safety Laboratory Procedures

Fernando Cobo*
Microbiology Section (Biotechnology Area) and Tropical Medicine Unit

© Fernando Cobo et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

Correspondence: Microbiology Section (Biotechnology Area) and Tropical Medicine Unit. Hospital de Poniente Ctra de Almerimar s/n 04700 El Ejido, Almería, Spain, Phone: +34950022638, Fax: +34950022600; E-mail:


Viral hemorrhagic fevers are diseases caused by viruses which belong to different families, many of them causing severe diseases. These viruses may produce different symptomatology together with a severe multisystem syndrome, and the final result might be the production of hemorrhages in several sites of the body. The majority of them have no other treatment than supportive therapy, although some antiviral drugs can be used in some circumstances. Transmission of VHF has been demonstrated through contact with animal vectors or person-to-person through the contact with body fluids. No risk of transmission has been found during the incubation period, but when the viral load is high the risk of transmission is greatest. Both health care and clinical laboratory workers must safely handle patients and specimens by taking all required precautions during their management.

Keywords: Bleeding, laboratory, life-threatening, prophylaxis, safety, travelers, viral hemorrhagic fever.