Monday, 1 October 2012

New Rhabdovirus that causes Hemorrhagic Fever

A novel Rhabdovirus (the same family as rabies) has been discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This new virus is associated with acute hemorrhagic fever. Three cases were identified, but only one has been confirmed. The first two cases died within 2-3 days of presenting with symptoms. The third case was a nurse that had cared for the other two. The nurse survived, and the novel virus was identified in their blood. No other potential cases were found at the time. The source (hemorrhagic fever is generally a zoonotic infection) and mode of transmission have not been determined.