Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)

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Overview:

As Europe reels under a heat wave and wildfires, the rising temperatures have also raised fears of spread of viral haemorrhagic fever generally not found in colder climates.

About Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

 

  • It is a viral haemorrhagic fever usually transmitted by ticks.
  • It can also be contracted through contact with viraemic animal tissues (animal tissue where the virus has entered the bloodstream) during and immediately post-slaughter of animals.
  • The disease was first detected among soldiers in the Crimean Peninsula (near the Black Sea) in 1944.
  • In 1969, it was found that an ailment identified in the Congo Basin was caused by the same pathogen. Thus, the disease was named the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
  • Its outbreak constitute a threat to public health services as the virus can lead to epidemics, has a high case fatality ratio (10–40%).
  • Transmission:
    • Animals such as cattle, goats, sheep and hares serve as amplifying hosts for the virus.
    • Transmission to humans occurs through contact with infected ticks or animal blood.
    • It can be transmitted from one infected human to another by contact with infectious blood or body fluids”, such as sweat and saliva.
    • The ticks can also be hosted by migratory birds.

 

Symptoms of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

  • Include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain, backache, headache, sore eyes and sensitivity to light.
  • After 2–4 days the agitation may be replaced by sleepiness, depression and lassitude

 

Treatment of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

  • There is no vaccine for the virus in either humans or animals, and treatment generally consists of managing symptoms.
  • According to the WHO, “the antiviral drug ribavirin has been used to treat CCHF infection with apparent benefit.”

 


Q1) What is the significance of the Crimean Peninsula?

The Crimean Peninsula is a landmass located on the northern coast of the Black Sea. It is connected to mainland Ukraine by the narrow Isthmus of Perekop. Historically, the Crimean Peninsula has been a region of strategic importance due to its geographical location and natural resources

Source: Climate change aiding spread of deadly virus in Europe: What is CCHF