Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever – South Africa
A 70-year-old woman has contracted Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in September after suffering a tick bite while on a trip in the Namaqualand Flower Route, Northen Cape Province in South Africa.
The patient’s symptoms included malaise, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, ecchymosis, and a maculopapular rash. The patient has made a full recovery.
Photo: Hyalomma ticks are the principal vector of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a disease caused by a tick-borne virus. The virus is widespread in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Madagascar.
Prevention is by avoiding tick bites, but also agricultural, slaughterhouse, and veterinarians are at risk of catching the disease through contact with animals. Human-to-human transmission is also possible.
The virus may have evolved around 1500-1100 BC. It is thought that changing climate and agricultural practices near this time could be behind its evolution. In 1944, Soviet scientists first identified the disease they called Crimean hemorrhagic fever in Crimea.
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