Photonics Dictionary


Filoviruses are a family of viruses that are responsible for severe and often fatal hemorrhagic fevers in humans and non-human primates. The name "filovirus" is derived from their filamentous (thread-like) shape, which is visible under electron microscopy.

Filoviruses belong to the family Filoviridae and comprise several genera, including the Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus genera. The most well-known members of the family are Ebola virus and Marburg virus, which have caused sporadic outbreaks of highly virulent diseases in Africa, with significant public health implications.

These viruses are typically transmitted to humans through close contact with infected animals, such as fruit bats, primates, or other mammals. Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with bodily fluids (such as blood, saliva, or vomit) of infected individuals or through contact with contaminated surfaces or materials.

Filoviruses are characterized by their high case fatality rates, ranging from around 25% to over 90% depending on the virus strain and the outbreak circumstances. Symptoms of filovirus infection may include fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and in severe cases, hemorrhage and organ failure.

There are currently no specific antiviral treatments for filovirus infections, and management primarily involves supportive care to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. Prevention efforts focus on public health measures, including infection control practices, surveillance, and community education, as well as the development and deployment of vaccines and experimental treatments.

Due to their potential for causing severe disease outbreaks and the lack of specific treatments, filoviruses are considered significant pathogens of concern by global health organizations, and research efforts continue to better understand these viruses and develop effective countermeasures.
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