NewsDesk @bactiman63

During the last week of June 2023, a total of 48 new cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) (15 cases were confirmed positive by PCR) and 3 new deaths were reported in Afghanistan.

Image/Robert Herriman

This brings the total CCHF cases to 422 from 31 provinces since the beginning of 2023.

Nine additional CCHF associated deaths were added to cumulative deaths which were reported sporadically from 5 provinces. This brings the total number of CCHF associated deaths to 35 (CFR=8.3%) from the beginning of 2023.

Out of total cases (422), 421 (99.8%) were above 5 years of age and 128 (30.3%) were females. The main case load over the past 2 months is from South (Kandahar and Helmand), North (Balkh) and Central
(Kabul) provinces.

The CCHF associated deaths were reported from 12 provinces (13 from Kabul, 6 from Balkh, 3 from Parwan, 3 from Takhar, 2 from Jawzjan, 2 from Kandahar, and one from each of Baghlan, Faryab, Ghazni, Kapisa, Paktya, and Sar-iPul).

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40%.

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Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about one week after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites. Although a number of tick genera are capable of becoming infected with CCHF virus, ticks of the genus Hyalomma are the principal vector.

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The CCHF virus is transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, such as agricultural workers, slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians. Human-to-human transmission is possible.

The virus is widespread in some countries of Africa and Asia, in the Balkans, the Middle East and in the south of the European part of Russia.