Published On: Mon, Jan 24th, 2011

Congo Virus-Congo hemorrhagic fever

Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a widespread tick-borne viral disease, a zoonosis of domestic animals and wild animals, that may affect humans. The pathogenic  virus, especially common in East  and West Africa, is a member of the Bunyaviridae  family of RNA viruses. Clinical disease is rare in infected mammals, but commonly severe in infected humans, with a 30% mortality rate. Outbreaks  of illness are usually attributable to handling infected animals or people.

Prevention

Where mammal and tick infection is common agricultural regulations require de-ticking farm animals before transportation or delivery for slaughter. Personal tick avoidance measures are recommended, such as use of insect repellents, adequate clothing and body inspection for adherent ticks.

When feverish patients with evidence of bleeding require resuscitation or intensive care, body substance isolation precautions should be taken.

The United States armed forces maintain special stocks of ribavirin to protect personnel deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq from CCHF.

Treatment

Treatment is primarily symptomatic and supportive, as there is no established specific treatment. Ribavirin is effective in vitro[1] and has been used during outbreaks,[2] but there is no trial evidence to support its use.

Scientists believe Congo virus not imported

NEW DELHI: The virus causing the deadly Crimea Congo Haemorrhagic
Fever (CCHF) has been found “in high quantities” from ticks collected
from parts of Ahmedabad. Ticks infected don’t die of it unlike humans
but actually facilitate their transmission.

This has made scientists from the National Institute of Virology
(Pune) believe that the virus is now openly circulating in the
environment and has not been brought into India from other CCHF
endemic countries.

Director of NIV Dr A C Mishra told TOI that two pools of ticks (20
ticks) collected from the area, which has reported positive cases of
CCHF for the first time in India among humans, “had very high viral
content”.

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