In the week ending June 17, a total of 35 new cases of CCHF (11 cases were confirmed positive by PCR and one was confirmed by Elisa) and no new associated death were reported.
According to the World Health Organization, a total of 359 cases were reported from 27 provinces since the beginning of the year, out of which 114 (31.8%) cases were reported from outbreak–the rest being sporadic.
Cumulatively, since January 2023, 11 deaths (CFR = 3.1%) were reported (3 from Balkh, 2 from Kandahar, 2 from Jawzjan and 2 from Kabul, 1 from each of Takhar and Samangan provinces).
The main case load over the past 2 months is from South (Kandahar and Helmand), north (Balkh) and Central (Kabul) provinces.
There are approximately 15,000 cases of CCHF a year, globally. CCHFV is a serious pathogen – typically between 10-40% of people who contract the virus will die from it.
As the name suggests, CCHFV is part of a group of diseases known as viral hemorrhagic fevers. These are described as causing “severe multi-system syndrome”, meaning multiple organ systems in the body are affected. These infections can also be accompanied by severe bleeding. Other viruses in this group include Ebola, Marburg, dengue, and Rift Valley fever virus.
CCHFV is transmitted by a tick species called the Hyalomma tick. The virus was first identified in the Crimean Peninsula in 1944, with an outbreak in the Congo in 1956 resulting in the modern-day name. To avoid stigma, the linking of pathogen names to the site of the first known outbreaks is no longer practiced.
A tick bite is the most common way to contract CCHFV. Though transmission has also occurred after needlestick injuries or from infected blood, meaning there is some risk to healthcare workers.
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