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Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;26(2):308-13.

Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever: clinical and epidemiological studies of 165 cases.

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  • 1Regional Research Unit, Portuguesa State Division of Health, Guanare, Venezuela.


Epidemiological and clinical data are presented on 165 cases of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever (VHF), a newly emerging viral zoonosis caused by Guanarito virus (of the family Arenaviridae). The disease is endemic in a relatively circumscribed area of central Venezuela. Since its first recognition in 1989, the incidence of VHF has peaked each year between November and January, during the period of major agricultural activity in the region of endemicity. The majority of cases have involved male agricultural workers. Principal symptoms among the patients with VHF included fever, malaise, headache, arthralgia, sore throat, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, and a variety of hemorrhagic manifestations. The majority of patients also had leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. The overall fatality rate among the 165 cases was 33.3%, despite hospitalization and vigorous supportive care.

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