The model of response to viral haemorrhagic fevers of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Lazzaro Spallanzani"

O. Armignacco, F. N. Lauria, V. Puro, G. Macrì, A. Petrecchia, G. Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHF) are severe and life-threatening diseases caused by a range of viruses. However, only four agents of VHF are known to be readily capable of person-to-person spread: Lassa virus, Crimean/Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, Ebola and Marburg viruses. Diseases caused by these viruses are endemic only in few areas in the world, most notably Africa and some rural parts of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, the increasing volume of international travel presents a greater likelihood for the importation of these infections or of suspected cases in non endemic countries. Four conditions can lead to the importation and to the subsequent recognition of VHF within Europe: 1) patients arriving as a result of a planned medical evacuation; 2) persons who became sick on route to their destination; 3) persons discovered ill when entering a country, for example during routine clinical examination at the airport; 4) persons becoming sick after their arrival. Public health implications and the risk of secondary spread of pathogens in the above reported circumstances are very different. Similarly, preparedness and response should vary. This paper summarizes the present knowledge on the four VHF capable of person-to-person spread, describes the high isolation area constructed at the Italian National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome to respond to the occurrence of VHF. A brief overview of procedures and equipment adopted is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Bolation precautions
  • Containment laboratory
  • Haemorrhagic fevers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)

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