Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus is related to dengue and yellow fever with which it shares a similar clinical presentation (Sections 15.4 and 15.5). It is found in a wide area stretching from west and southern Africa through central and northeast Africa into the Arabian peninsula, to west and central Asia (Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and west China) and westwards into the Balkans and Greece.

Transmission is by Hyalomma marginatum and H. anatolicum ticks, which also serve as reservoirs, although birds, rodents and hares may be involved. Person-to-person infection can also occur from exposure to blood and other body fluids. The ticks feed on domestic animals (cattle, sheep and goats), so the disease is an occupational hazard of farmers and shepherds, who can also contract the illness by contact with animal tissues and fluids.

Incubation period 1-3 days, but can be up to 12 days.

Period of communicability During the entire period of illness, the patient is highly infectious from urine, blood and other body fluids.

Control and prevention All the precautions mentioned above should be taken to prevent being bitten by ticks, including insecticide treatment of domestic animals. Strict barrier nursing should be observed with all cases. Gloves and overalls should be worn when working with animals. People in high-risk areas can be vaccinated.

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