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Important Facts For Prelims

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

  • 19 Jul 2023
  • 3 min read

Source: IE

Why in News?

As Europe experiences heatwaves and wildfires, concerns are mounting about the spread of viruses typically associated with warmer climates. Alert has been sounded about the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) an infection spread by ticks.

What is CCHF?

  • About:
    • CCHF is a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks and contact with viremic animal tissues.
    • It poses a threat to public health due to its potential for epidemics, high case fatality ratio (10-40%), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). and difficulty in prevention and treatment.
  • CCHF Symptoms and Cure:
    • Symptoms include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, and mood swings.
    • There is no vaccine available, and treatment primarily focuses on symptom management.
    • The antiviral drug ribavirin has shown potential benefits in treating CCHF infections.
  • Transmission:
    • CCHF virus is primarily transmitted through tick bites or contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and after slaughter.
    • Human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact with infected individuals or improper sterilization of medical equipment.
  • Prevention and Control of CCHF:
    • Controlling CCHF in animals and ticks is difficult due to unnoticed tick-animal-tick cycle and widespread tick vectors.
    • Measures can be taken to ensure that animals remain tick-free for 14 days in a quarantine station before slaughter.
    • There are no vaccines available for use in animals.
    • The only way to reduce infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the virus.
    • Wear protective clothing (long sleeves, long trousers) and light-colored clothing to allow easy detection of ticks on clothes.
    • Avoid close physical contact with CCHF-infected people.
    • Wear gloves and protective equipment when taking care of ill people.
  • Spread of CCHF:
    • Initially endemic to Africa, the Balkan countries, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, CCHF has been spreading northward and westward in Europe.
    • Reported cases have emerged in Spain, Russia, Turkey, and the UK.
  • Climate Change and Disease Spread:
    • Climate change plays a role in the expansion of pathogens into new territories.
    • Warmer temperatures and altered habitats allow ticks and other insects to thrive in previously unsuitable regions.
    • Changes in water habitats and animal migration patterns contribute to disease spread.
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