Viral haemorrhagic fevers are a group of severe and often fatal diseases caused by a number of different viruses. Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo are examples of these types of viruses.
The risk of viral haemorrhagic fever in Canada is low. Infections and outbreaks occur sporadically in many developing areas of the world. These areas include Central, East and Western Africa, and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central, South and Far East Asia and some areas of the Americas.
You could become infected if you travel to an area where there is an outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever. Some viruses are transmitted from animals to humans, while others can also be spread through person-to-person contact.
The viruses that cause viral haemorrhagic fevers live in host animals or insects. Monkeys, bats, rats, mice, ticks, mosquitoes and some other insects and animals have all been known to carry and transmit these viruses to humans. You can become infected after being exposed to an infected animal or after being bitten by a tick or other insect. For some viruses, the host animal or insect is unknown.
More information on causes, symptoms, risks, treatment and prevention can be found on the pages below.