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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever 

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Chapter:
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Author(s):

R. Swanepoel

and J. T. Paweska

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570028.003.0033
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date: 09 December 2019

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is an acute disease of humans, caused by a tick-borne virus which is widely distributed in eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Cattle, sheep and small mammals such as hares undergo inapparent or mild infection with transient viraemia, and serve as hosts from which the tick vectors of the virus can acquire infection. Despite serological evidence that there is widespread infection of livestock in nature, infection of humans is relatively uncommon. Humans acquire infection from tick bite, or from contact with infected blood or other tissues of livestock or human patients, and the disease is characterized by febrile illness with headache, malaise, myalgia, and a petechial rash, frequently followed by a haemorrhagic state with necrotic hepatitis. The mortality rate is variable but averages about approximately 30 per cent. Inactivated vaccine prepared from infected mouse brain was used for the protection of humans in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the past, but the development of a modern vaccine is inhibited by limited potential demand. The voluminous literature on the disease has been the subject of several reviews from which the information presented here is drawn, except where indicated otherwise (Chumakov 1974; Hoogstraal 1979; 1981; Watts et al. 1989; Swanepoel 1994; 1995; Swanepoel and Burt, 2004; Burt and Swanepoel, 2005; Whitehouse 2004; Ergunol and Whitehouse 2007; Ergunol 2008).

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