In this work, we studied the propagation of weakly nonlinear waves in a prestressed thin elastic tube filled with an incompressible viscous fluid. In order to include the geometrical and structural dispersion into analysis, the wall's inertial and sheer deformation are taken into account in determining the inner pressure-inner cross sectional area relation. Using the reductive perturbation technique, the propagation of weakly nonlinear waves, in the long-wave approximation, is shown to be governed by the Korteweg-de Vries-Burgers (KdVB) equation. Due to dependence of coefficients of the governing equation on the initial deformation, the material and viscosity parameters, the profile of the travelling wave solution to the KdVB equation changes with these parameters. These variations are calculated numerically for some elastic materials and the effects of initial deformation and the viscosity parameter on the propagation characteristics are discussed. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.