What is Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
This is a medical condition caused by a virus where the patient experiences a multitude of symptoms including hemorrhage (bleeding). Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by Flavivirus, a virus belonging to the Flaviviridae family.
Why is it Named Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever was discovered in Omsk, Russia; hence its name.
What is the Cause of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
The cause of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever is a virus named Flavivirus that belongs to the Flaviviridae family.
Who are at Risk for Developing Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
- People living in areas where tick species and rodent reservoirs are prevalent.
- People having occupational or recreational exposure to outdoor/ rural outdoor settings. Examples include campers, hunters, farmers, forest workers etc. are at increased risk for coming in contact with infected ticks or other animals.
- People living in Omsk, Siberia who trap and hunt muskrats are especially at an increased risk for contracting the virus of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever.
How is Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever Transmitted?
Rodents are the chief carriers for Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever and the rodents get this virus when an infected tick bites them. Human beings get infected with this virus via tick bites or when they come in contact with the feces, blood or urine of a sick, infected or dead animal; primarily rodents. Transmission of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever can also occur without any direct exposure to rodent/tick and from other animals; or can also be passed to humans via milk of infected sheep goats. Some of the tick carriers are Dermacentor marginatus, Dermacentor reticulates and Ixodes persulcatus. Some of the rodent carriers are water vole, muskrat and narrow-skulled voles.
Can Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever Get Transmitted From One Person To Another?
Till now, there is no evidence of transmission of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever virus from one person to another. However, this infection has known to develop through lab contamination.
Incubation Period & Symptoms of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
The incubation period of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever is about 3 to 8 days. The initial symptoms of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever consist of fever, chills, headache, intense pain in the muscles, a rash on the soft palate, swelling of the neck glands, conjunctival suffusion. Patient also has vomiting along with other gastrointestinal symptoms. Problems with bleeding or hemorrhage start to develop 3 to 4 days after the onset on the symptoms. Patient can further develop localized hemorrhage in mucosa of lungs, gums and uterus. Patients with Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever also can have extremely low blood pressure; and low red blood cell, platelet and white blood cell counts.
After 1 to 2 weeks of development of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever symptoms, patients can achieve recovery without suffering any complications. However, Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever is biphasic for patients who suffer from a second rush of symptoms at the start of the third week into Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever. These second set of symptoms of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever consist of encephalitis and fever. If the patient does not recover from these second symptoms, then death is likely to occur.
What is the Mortality Rate of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
The mortality rate of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever is low.
How is Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever Diagnosed?
The virus of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever can be microscopically detected in blood samples. Other than this, blood samples of the patient can also be tested for presence of antibody in ELISA test.
What is the Treatment of Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
As of now, there is no specific treatment for Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever; however, patient is given supportive therapy, such as intravenous fluids to maintain hydration, bed rest, blood transfusions if needed, antibiotic coverage to prevent secondary bacterial infection and other standard precautions for patients having bleeding disorders.
Are there any Complications after Recovering from Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever?
In rare cases, patients who have recovered from Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever can have hair loss, loss of hearing, and psychological or behavioral problems related to neurological conditions.
Can Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever be Prevented?
As of now, there is no vaccine for preventing Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever. However, there are vaccines for tick-borne encephalitis disease, which can provide some measure of immunity, especially to the high-risk individuals. Other than this, preventative steps include wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents in the high risk regions.