University of Nebraska Medical Center

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)


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What is Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF)?


According to the World Health Organization, "Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral haemorrhagic fever usually transmitted by ticks. It can also be contracted through contact with viraemic animal tissues (animal tissue where the virus has entered the bloodstream) during and immediately post-slaughter of animals. CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services as the virus can lead to epidemics, has a high case fatality ratio (10–40%), potentially results in hospital and health facility outbreaks, and is difficult to prevent and treat. CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia. 

The disease was first described in the Crimean Peninsula in 1944 and given the name Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In 1969 it was recognized that the pathogen causing Crimean haemorrhagic fever was the same as that responsible for an illness identified in 1956 in the Congo Basin. The linkage of the two place names resulted in the current name for the disease and the virus."