By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in the Junta de Castilla y León has confirmed a case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). The confirmed case is a male who has been admitted to the Salamanca University Assistance Complex for a couple of days and who had been bitten by a tick in a pine forest area in the province of Salamanca in late May.

Image/Robert Herriman

The infectious process caused high fever, so he went to his Primary Care doctor, who suspected that it could be a tick-borne infection and gave him treatment. Due to his non-improvement, tests were performed and his hospital transfer was decided, with the suspicion that it could be a case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

The patient is admitted to the Infectious Diseases Service in a room with the isolation measures foreseen in these cases and his clinical state is stable within the severity that this pathology implies.

From Public Health and in coordination with the healthcare field, as soon as the suspicion of this possible case was established, the protocol of action and coordination between the health authorities of the Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Community of Castilla y Lion. Given this situation, blood samples from the patient have been sent to the National Microbiology Center of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, which has confirmed that it is an infection with the Crimea-Congo virus. Likewise, the appropriate protection measures for health professionals have been adopted.

The Epidemiology Section of the Territorial Service of the Junta de Castilla y León, in collaboration with the health professionals of the University Assistance Complex of Salamanca, has identified the contacts of the affected person to indicate the follow-up to be carried out. In close contacts, this consists of regularly monitoring your body temperature and communicating to your reference epidemiologist any change in your health.

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.