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Genome: RNA Virus, Negative ssRNA Virus Structure: Enveloped Virus, Helical Virus
  • Filoviruses are a grouping of structurally-related viruses that cause highly fatal hemorrhagic febrile illnesses. Ebola Virus and Marburg Virus are the most prominent members of this group and are discussed jointly due to their similar transmission and clinical consequences.
  • Transmission of Ebola and Marburg Viruses appears to require direct contact with infectious body fluids, especially blood. The natural reservoir of these viruses is likely rodents or bats but exposure has often been due to contact with infected primates. Outbreaks of disease have most frequently occurred in Africa and human-to-human spread is most often associated with healthcare settings.
Clinical Consequences
  • The syndrome of infection usually begins with acute onset of intense constitutional symptoms such as fever, headache, myalgia, and vomiting. The hallmark of disease is hemorrhage from nearly any mucosal site and under the skin which ends in multi-organ failure in the majority of infected patients.