There are over a dozen viral hemorrhagic fevers, and they are all divided into several different families of viruses. Some have no treatments and carry high death tolls, whereas others are easily treated and death easily avoided. Marburg and Crimea-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever are similar deadly viral diseases; however, they also have many differences as well. A hemorrhagic fever is a group of viral infections by insects, arachnids or rodents. (“Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2009) Both of these diseases are hemorrhagic fevers, though the way they are transmitted is very different.
Both of the viruses can be spread from human to human through infectious tissues, body fluids and blood. This means that anyone exposed to a person infected with these viruses should be extremely cautious not to touch anything that could have infectious material on it. Each virus also has a specific way it is transmitted to humans. The CCHF virus comes from the Nairovirus in the family Bunyaviridae. It is spread by ticks, more commonly the Hyalomma tick.
(“Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2012) The tick collects the virus by feeding on an infected animal and then spreads it to the next animal or human that it bites. The virus is also transferred to humans by crushing an infected tick with bare skin or drinking unpasteurized milk from an infected animal. MHF, however, has only one source of transmission. This virus is carried by the African Fruit Bat which serves as a host for the virus. This virus is a rare type of hemorrhagic fever that only affects humans and primates.
(“Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2012) MHF comes from the Marburg virus which is in the Filoviridae family. (“Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2012) Authorities are still unsure how the virus is transferred from the fruit bat to humans, though people who have spent long amounts of time in caves with infected bats have caught the virus. This would lead one to believe that the virus may be transmitted through the bats guano. The way these viruses are transmitted also has a part in where the diseases are found. One of these diseases can be found worldwide, whereas the other is only found on one continent.
Both of these diseases are found on the African continent, which is where the most cases of both of the viruses occur. There have been cases of both viruses diagnosed in countries where these diseaseshave never been found. This is believed to be because the patients had spent time in areas where the viruses are common, and returned home before symptoms began to appear. MHF is strictly native to Africa. This is because the host of the virus is the African Fruit Bat. CCHF, the most widely spread hemorrhagic fever, is found in Africa as well as Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, the Middle East and India.
This virus is believed to be so widespread because it is spread mainly by ticks. The infected ticks’ hitch-hike on migratory birds and travel to other countries where they infect other animals and humans. The animals infect humans through bites or by the human coming in contact with the infected tissue or fluids. Once a patient is infected, these viruses have incubation periods. Each of these diseases has a different incubation period. MHF has a single incubation period of five to ten days. (“Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever: Fact Sheet”, 2005-2013) CCHF, however, has two incubation periods.
In the case of transmission via tick bite or animal, the period is one to three days with the longest reported period being nine days. When the virus is transmitted from human to human, the incubation period is five to six days with the longest reported period being thirteen days. (“Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2007) Once the incubation period is over, symptoms begin to develop. Both diseases exhibit many similar symptoms; however, there are many other symptoms exclusive to one virus or the other. All viral hemorrhagic fevers cause massive hemorrhaging, which is where the name came from.
Both viruses exhibit symptoms such as headaches, fevers, chills, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and jaundice. However, each of these two viruses has a list of their own individual symptoms. CCHF has a very large list of symptoms that includes back, joint and neck pain, red eyes and throat, a flushed face, petechiae on the palate, dizziness, confusion, aggression, slow heart beat, low blood pressure, vomiting blood, black stools, blood in the urine, coughing up bloody sputum, cranial bleeding, and enlargement of the liver and spleen.
(“Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2007) In severe cases sensitivity to light and changes in mood and sensory perception can occur as well. MHF has a smaller list of symptoms. They include a maculopapular (small red bumps) rash on the chest, back and stomach, chest pain, sore throat, inflammation of the pancreas, weight loss, delirium, shock, and liver and multi organ failure. (“Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2012) This may be a shorter list, but it is no less deadly. In almost every case these symptoms require treatments of their own.
Both viruses require secondary treatments for their symptoms, but only one has a specific treatment for the virus itself. Secondary treatments include keeping the patients fluids and electrolytes balanced, maintaining appropriate blood oxygen levels, maintaining a safe blood pressure, treating secondary infections, and replacing lost blood and clotting factors. CCHF has shown sensitivity to the in vitro use of the drug Ribivarin. (“Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever”, 2012) It is not a proven cure; however, it does weaken the virus, and gives the patient a better chance of survival. Unfortunately, there is no such treatment for MHF.
The best way for a patient to survive this infection is to receive proper supportive treatment and have a strong immune system. These treatments can cause the mortality rate to change with each case. Both viruses have rather wide ranges in mortality rates. CCHF has a mortality rate of %9 to %50. MHF has a mortality rate of %23 to %90. These viruses are extremely dangerous and deadly, and even when treated they can still carry high death rates. The only way to ensure avoidance of these viruses is to stay away from the areas these viruses are native to. If you are planning to travel to any of these areas, be sure to be prepared.
Wear adequate clothing and use extra strength bug repellant to eliminate exposure to infectious tick bites, and stay away from caves to eliminate exposure to infectious bats. Above all else, never handle raw meats or any sort of animal body fluids because they could be infectious as well. Also be sure to stay as far away from any infected people as possible to avoid transmission. These two diseases have many, many similarities; though they are very different from each other as well. Where one of them has a treatment to help the patient survive a deadly disease, the other only offers the will to survive to combat the virus.
They both can cause debilitating symptoms, one many more than the other. Marburg and Crimea-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever are similar deadly viral diseases; however, they also have many differences as well.
References Hemorrhagic Fever. (2009). Retrieved from http://www. thefreedictionary. com/hemorrhagic+fever Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/cchf. htm Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/marburg. htm Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever: Fact Sheet. (2005 – 2013).
Retrieved from http://www. webmd. com/a-to-z-guides/marburg-hemorrhagic-fever Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever.
(2007). Retrieved from http://wzus1. ask. com/r? t=p&d=us&s=a&c=a&app=a16&dqi=&askid=&l=dir&o=0&oo=0&sv=0a5ca9e3&ip=4a868ab4&id=16DBD004AECC012A76ED8573F722A9C2&q=what+is+crimean+congo+hemorrhagic+fever&p=1&qs=1&ac=114&g=73b7NOf38o5j2L&cu. wz=0&en=te&io=0&ep=&eo=&b=a004&bc=&br=&tp=d&ec=1&pt=Crimean-Congo%20Hemorrhagic%20Fever%20-%20The%20Center%20for%20Food%20Security%20… &ex=tsrc%3Dtled&url=&u=http://www. cfsph. iastate. edu/Factsheets/pdfs/crimean_congo_hemorrhagic_fever. pdf.