By NewsDesk @bactiman63
South African health officials report a second Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in the country this year in a 32-year-old man from Burgersdorp, Eastern Cape Province. The first was a fatal case of CCHF reported from the Western Cape Province.
Prior to falling ill, the patient was working in different areas in the Eastern Cape and Free State provinces. A tick bite was identified as the source of infection.
It is noted that the patient is involved with culling operations on farms and reserves, so exposure to the virus through contact with raw meat or blood of infected wildlife is also a possibility.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) was confirmed on September 10. The patient was hospitalized in Free State province.
During his hospitalization, bleeding gums, bone marrow venipuncture hemorrhage, severe thrombocytopenia and hematoma were recorded.
The patient recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
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%.
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.
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.
CCHF is a rare human disease in South Africa with 220 cases reported from 1981 (when CCHF was first recorded in South Africa).
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