Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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UK woman diagnosed with rare horror fever with 'high fatality rate' after travel to Asia


Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease usually transmitted by ticks and livestock animals in countries where the disease is endemic. The woman was diagnosed at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is receiving specialist care at the Royal Free Hospital in London.Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, said the virus “does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the public is very low”.

Despite this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that CCHF has a “high fatality rate” of up to 40 percent.

They add that CCHF outbreaks “constitute a threat to public health services as the virus can lead to epidemics”.

CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia. 

The disease was first described in Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In 1969 it was recognized that the pathogen causing Crimean haemorrhagic fever was the same as that responsible for an illness identified in 1956 in the Congo.

Dr Hopkins said the agency was working to contact people who have been in close contact with the woman to assess them and provide advice.

She added: “UKHSA and the NHS have well-established and robust infection control procedures for dealing with cases of imported infectious disease and these will be strictly followed.”



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