Viruses

Just a blog to identify and look at some of the most fascinating, and deadly, viruses out there.
Junin Virus:
A Bio Safety Level 4 virus, Junin causes Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever (AHF). AHF progresses in two separate stages. First, the patient will begin to experience fever, headaches, and weakness. The second stage, which occurs less than a week after initial symptoms set in, contains far more severe symptoms including a rash, blood, shock, seizures, bleeding from various orifices, low blood pressure, and coma. Junin’s incubation period typically lasts between 10-12 days. It has been placed in the Arenaviridae family of viruses. Humans are usually infected with Junin virus after making contact with the excrement of an infected rodent, often occurring when ingesting infected food or water, inhaling particles of the virus from dried urine, or touching something infected with broken skin. Currently, treatment with plasma from recovered patients, if administered in a timely manner, has been remarkably successful. There is also a vaccine available that boasts a 95% success rate. If properly treated, the mortality rate for Junin virus is extremely low at only 1%. However, if left untreated or treatment is begun too late, the mortality rate jumps to 15-30%.

Junin Virus:

A Bio Safety Level 4 virus, Junin causes Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever (AHF). AHF progresses in two separate stages. First, the patient will begin to experience fever, headaches, and weakness. The second stage, which occurs less than a week after initial symptoms set in, contains far more severe symptoms including a rash, blood, shock, seizures, bleeding from various orifices, low blood pressure, and coma. Junin’s incubation period typically lasts between 10-12 days. It has been placed in the Arenaviridae family of viruses. Humans are usually infected with Junin virus after making contact with the excrement of an infected rodent, often occurring when ingesting infected food or water, inhaling particles of the virus from dried urine, or touching something infected with broken skin. Currently, treatment with plasma from recovered patients, if administered in a timely manner, has been remarkably successful. There is also a vaccine available that boasts a 95% success rate. If properly treated, the mortality rate for Junin virus is extremely low at only 1%. However, if left untreated or treatment is begun too late, the mortality rate jumps to 15-30%.

Yellow Fever Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus, Yellow Fever is the cause of a wide range of symptoms and problems. The vast majority of cases will only experience minor symptoms, among these are fever, chills, headache, nausea, and general weakness. However, about 15% of cases will enter a second phase of the disease whereupon feeling better for about a day, they will begin to experience much more severe symptoms including liver damage, abdominal pain, bleeding, and shock and failure of multiple organs. Yellow Fever typically has a 3-6 day incubation period. Yellow fever has been place in the Flaviviridae family of viruses. The transmission process for Yellow Fever is rather complicated and follows three distinct cycles. There is the jungle cycle in which mosquitoes give the virus to monkeys, who then pass it on to humans visiting the forest. In Africa there occurs the intermediate cycle in which either monkeys are infected and transmit it to humans, or mosquitoes already infected give it to humans. Lastly, there is the urban cycle in which humans infected somewhere else, come to an urban setting, are bitten and infect a mosquito who, in turn, bites another human and transmits it to him. There is currently a vaccine for Yellow Fever, but it can present some very serious side effects, therefore medical professionals recommend only getting it if one is at serious risk for exposure. Yellow Fever can also be prevented by using repellent and wearing proper clothing. Overall, the mortality rate from Yellow Fever is 3%. However, that rate is increased to 20% if a patient reaches the second phase of the disease.

Yellow Fever Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus, Yellow Fever is the cause of a wide range of symptoms and problems. The vast majority of cases will only experience minor symptoms, among these are fever, chills, headache, nausea, and general weakness. However, about 15% of cases will enter a second phase of the disease whereupon feeling better for about a day, they will begin to experience much more severe symptoms including liver damage, abdominal pain, bleeding, and shock and failure of multiple organs. Yellow Fever typically has a 3-6 day incubation period. Yellow fever has been place in the Flaviviridae family of viruses. The transmission process for Yellow Fever is rather complicated and follows three distinct cycles. There is the jungle cycle in which mosquitoes give the virus to monkeys, who then pass it on to humans visiting the forest. In Africa there occurs the intermediate cycle in which either monkeys are infected and transmit it to humans, or mosquitoes already infected give it to humans. Lastly, there is the urban cycle in which humans infected somewhere else, come to an urban setting, are bitten and infect a mosquito who, in turn, bites another human and transmits it to him. There is currently a vaccine for Yellow Fever, but it can present some very serious side effects, therefore medical professionals recommend only getting it if one is at serious risk for exposure. Yellow Fever can also be prevented by using repellent and wearing proper clothing. Overall, the mortality rate from Yellow Fever is 3%. However, that rate is increased to 20% if a patient reaches the second phase of the disease.

Rift Valley Fever Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus, Rift Valley Fever Virus is the cause, unsurprisingly, of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). RVF symptoms are usually relatively minor, consisting of a basic fever and headache. However, in more severe cases the patient can be stricken with hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, and ocular disease. RVF’s incubation period can last anywhere from 2-6 days. Rift Valley Fever Virus has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. RVF is, the majority of the time, only found in livestock, transmitted to them from mosquitoes. Humans can get the virus in two ways. One, the can be bitten by an infected mosquito and two, they can be exposed to the blood of infected animals in the slaughtering or necropsy process. There have been reported cases of the virus infecting humans in a laboratory setting through the air. While there is no particularly effective treatment for RVF, ribavirin has been shown in clinical trials to be relatively successful in monkeys. The fatality rate for RVF is extremely low at 1%, with the most common complication after recovery being permanent visions loss in about 10% of cases.

Rift Valley Fever Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus, Rift Valley Fever Virus is the cause, unsurprisingly, of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). RVF symptoms are usually relatively minor, consisting of a basic fever and headache. However, in more severe cases the patient can be stricken with hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, and ocular disease. RVF’s incubation period can last anywhere from 2-6 days. Rift Valley Fever Virus has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. RVF is, the majority of the time, only found in livestock, transmitted to them from mosquitoes. Humans can get the virus in two ways. One, the can be bitten by an infected mosquito and two, they can be exposed to the blood of infected animals in the slaughtering or necropsy process. There have been reported cases of the virus infecting humans in a laboratory setting through the air. While there is no particularly effective treatment for RVF, ribavirin has been shown in clinical trials to be relatively successful in monkeys. The fatality rate for RVF is extremely low at 1%, with the most common complication after recovery being permanent visions loss in about 10% of cases.

Hantavirus:
A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus that usually causes one of two diseases: Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). These diseases can cause a number of symptoms including fever, headaches, chills, difficulty breathing, tachycardia, renal failure, and acute shock. The incubation period varies wildly, ranging from 1-6 weeks. Hantavirus has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected rodents. This contact can consist of anything from a bite to contact with urine or other waste product or the rodent’s saliva. Prevention of Hantavirus is relatively simple as it consists simply of removing all rodents from one’s immediate living space and taking adequate safety and hygienic precautions when in a situation when transmission is possible. There is currently no known vaccine or effective treatment for the virus. Instead, patients are hospitalized and given constant care and therapy. The fatality rates for HFRS and HPS are, respectively, 12% and 52%

Hantavirus:

A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus that usually causes one of two diseases: Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). These diseases can cause a number of symptoms including fever, headaches, chills, difficulty breathing, tachycardia, renal failure, and acute shock. The incubation period varies wildly, ranging from 1-6 weeks. Hantavirus has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected rodents. This contact can consist of anything from a bite to contact with urine or other waste product or the rodent’s saliva. Prevention of Hantavirus is relatively simple as it consists simply of removing all rodents from one’s immediate living space and taking adequate safety and hygienic precautions when in a situation when transmission is possible. There is currently no known vaccine or effective treatment for the virus. Instead, patients are hospitalized and given constant care and therapy. The fatality rates for HFRS and HPS are, respectively, 12% and 52%

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHV), unsurprisingly, is the cause of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. The disease, at first, exhibits mild symptoms including fever, joint pain, petechiae, mental confusion and agitation, and nose bleeds. However, as it progresses, the symptoms become more severe, coming to include disseminated intravascular coagulation, hepatomegaly, uncontrolled bleeding, and kidney failure. The incubation period is typically 1-6 days. CCHV has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. The virus is typically transmitted to humans through tick bites. The groups most often afflicted with this disease are those dealing closely with livestock, as the ticks are most usually found on those animals. Currently there is no effective treatment or vaccine for CCHV. The most successful attempts at treatment have been supportive, through the use of hospitalization, although doses of Ribavirin appears to have had some success in patients. There is currently a vaccine in development that has shown promise in preventing against CCHV. The mortality rate for humans infected with CCHV is 30%. 

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHV), unsurprisingly, is the cause of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever. The disease, at first, exhibits mild symptoms including fever, joint pain, petechiae, mental confusion and agitation, and nose bleeds. However, as it progresses, the symptoms become more severe, coming to include disseminated intravascular coagulation, hepatomegaly, uncontrolled bleeding, and kidney failure. The incubation period is typically 1-6 days. CCHV has been placed in the Bunyaviridae family of viruses. The virus is typically transmitted to humans through tick bites. The groups most often afflicted with this disease are those dealing closely with livestock, as the ticks are most usually found on those animals. Currently there is no effective treatment or vaccine for CCHV. The most successful attempts at treatment have been supportive, through the use of hospitalization, although doses of Ribavirin appears to have had some success in patients. There is currently a vaccine in development that has shown promise in preventing against CCHV. The mortality rate for humans infected with CCHV is 30%. 

Hendra Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus that causes any number of symptoms ranging from simple flu-like symptoms to encephalitis to seizures and coma. The incubation period in humans ranges anywhere from 5-16 days. This virus has been placed in the paramyxoviridae family of viruses. Outbreaks of this virus have been contained solely to specific regions of Australia, making this a rather rare virus. It is believed that the virus is transmitted from flying foxes to horses in that region. Humans are subsequently infected by the horses. Every human infection has come as a result of not taking proper bio-safety precautions in dealing with the infected horses. Although only seven humans have ever been infected with Hendra, the mortality rate is exceedingly high at 60%. A vaccine for Hendra is currently in testing and is expected to be on the market by 2013.  

Hendra Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus that causes any number of symptoms ranging from simple flu-like symptoms to encephalitis to seizures and coma. The incubation period in humans ranges anywhere from 5-16 days. This virus has been placed in the paramyxoviridae family of viruses. Outbreaks of this virus have been contained solely to specific regions of Australia, making this a rather rare virus. It is believed that the virus is transmitted from flying foxes to horses in that region. Humans are subsequently infected by the horses. Every human infection has come as a result of not taking proper bio-safety precautions in dealing with the infected horses. Although only seven humans have ever been infected with Hendra, the mortality rate is exceedingly high at 60%. A vaccine for Hendra is currently in testing and is expected to be on the market by 2013.  

Marburg Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus causing Marburg virus disease (MVD), a disease clinically indistinguishable from Ebola virus disease (EVD). MVD is classified as a hemorrhagic fever. Initial symptoms are relatively minor, presenting only as fever, chills, or headache. However, symptoms gradually get worse as the virus progresses, leading from nausea, vomiting, and chest pain to the most severe symptoms including delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multiple organ failure. The virus has an incubation period of 3-10 days.  Marburg has been placed in the Filoviridae family of viruses. Marburg, much like Ebola, is still much of a mystery to the scientific world. Consequently, not much is known about how the virus is transmitted. What is known is that those humans that have been infected were infected after handling monkey tissue and organs infected with Marburg, or were around contaminated needles or other medical equipment. This has led to the belief that Marburg is transmitted solely through bodily fluids, not in an aerosol format. Again, much like Ebola, there is no known treatment or preventative vaccine for Marburg. The only course of action is hospitalization and constant care and therapy. The fatality rate for Marburg currently stands at 20-25%.

Marburg Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus causing Marburg virus disease (MVD), a disease clinically indistinguishable from Ebola virus disease (EVD). MVD is classified as a hemorrhagic fever. Initial symptoms are relatively minor, presenting only as fever, chills, or headache. However, symptoms gradually get worse as the virus progresses, leading from nausea, vomiting, and chest pain to the most severe symptoms including delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multiple organ failure. The virus has an incubation period of 3-10 days.  Marburg has been placed in the Filoviridae family of viruses. Marburg, much like Ebola, is still much of a mystery to the scientific world. Consequently, not much is known about how the virus is transmitted. What is known is that those humans that have been infected were infected after handling monkey tissue and organs infected with Marburg, or were around contaminated needles or other medical equipment. This has led to the belief that Marburg is transmitted solely through bodily fluids, not in an aerosol format. Again, much like Ebola, there is no known treatment or preventative vaccine for Marburg. The only course of action is hospitalization and constant care and therapy. The fatality rate for Marburg currently stands at 20-25%.

Lassa Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus causing Lassa fever. Lassa fever presents with a number of symptoms including fever, retrosternal pain, sore throat, back pain, cough, proteinuria, and mucosal bleeding. The incubation period for this virus is 6-21 days. Lassa virus has been placed in the Arenaviridae family of viruses. Lassa is transmitted rather easily to humans, mostly through the droppings and urine of Mastomys rodents. It can also be transmitted by human to human contact through bodily fluids, contaminated needles, etc. Thus far the most effective course of treatment is Ribavirin, an antiviral. Currently 15-20% of those hospitalized with Lassa die from it. However, the virus only has a 1% mortality rate overall. 

Lassa Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 4 virus causing Lassa fever. Lassa fever presents with a number of symptoms including fever, retrosternal pain, sore throat, back pain, cough, proteinuria, and mucosal bleeding. The incubation period for this virus is 6-21 days. Lassa virus has been placed in the Arenaviridae family of viruses. Lassa is transmitted rather easily to humans, mostly through the droppings and urine of Mastomys rodents. It can also be transmitted by human to human contact through bodily fluids, contaminated needles, etc. Thus far the most effective course of treatment is Ribavirin, an antiviral. Currently 15-20% of those hospitalized with Lassa die from it. However, the virus only has a 1% mortality rate overall. 

West Nile Virus:
A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus causing any number of symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, tremors, confusion, and, in rare and severe cases, a coma or partial paralysis. The incubation period can last anywhere from three to fourteen days. The virus has been placed in the flaviviridae family of viruses. The virus is rather difficult to get, in that it is nearly always transmitted from an infected mosquito via bite. However, there have been cases of people getting the virus through tainted blood transfusions, these cases are extremely rare however. For the average, healthy human, West Nile is easy to recover from, oft times requiring no treatment. For the rare cases that develop complications, such as meningitis or encephalitis, other, more rigorous treatments will be required. West Nile has a 4.5% mortality rate. 

West Nile Virus:

A Bio-Safety Level 3 virus causing any number of symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, tremors, confusion, and, in rare and severe cases, a coma or partial paralysis. The incubation period can last anywhere from three to fourteen days. The virus has been placed in the flaviviridae family of viruses. The virus is rather difficult to get, in that it is nearly always transmitted from an infected mosquito via bite. However, there have been cases of people getting the virus through tainted blood transfusions, these cases are extremely rare however. For the average, healthy human, West Nile is easy to recover from, oft times requiring no treatment. For the rare cases that develop complications, such as meningitis or encephalitis, other, more rigorous treatments will be required. West Nile has a 4.5% mortality rate. 

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever:
A Bio-Safety Level 4 viral hemorrhagic fever causing fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients. Ebola has an incubation period of 2-21 days. Ebola has been placed in the Filovirus family of RNA viruses. The virus is spread only through blood transmitted between people (possibly animals as well). However, an outbreak of an Ebola like pathogen in Reston, Virginia was spread through the air. This only affected the monkeys held in this facility, however. There is currently no effective cure or treatment for Ebola. Although a vaccine has recently shown promise in monkeys affected with the virus. Depending on the strain of Ebola, mortality rates fluctuate between 90% (Ebola Zaire) and 34% (Ebola Bundibugyo). 

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever:

A Bio-Safety Level 4 viral hemorrhagic fever causing fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients. Ebola has an incubation period of 2-21 days. Ebola has been placed in the Filovirus family of RNA viruses. The virus is spread only through blood transmitted between people (possibly animals as well). However, an outbreak of an Ebola like pathogen in Reston, Virginia was spread through the air. This only affected the monkeys held in this facility, however. There is currently no effective cure or treatment for Ebola. Although a vaccine has recently shown promise in monkeys affected with the virus. Depending on the strain of Ebola, mortality rates fluctuate between 90% (Ebola Zaire) and 34% (Ebola Bundibugyo).