Author(s): Ergnl O
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Abstract Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is an often fatal viral infection described in about 30 countries, and it has the most extensive geographic distribution of the medically important tickborne viral diseases, closely approximating the known global distribution of Hyalomma spp ticks. Human beings become infected through tick bites, by crushing infected ticks, after contact with a patient with CCHF during the acute phase of infection, or by contact with blood or tissues from viraemic livestock. Clinical features commonly show a dramatic progression characterised by haemorrhage, myalgia, and fever. The levels of liver enzymes, creatinine phosphokinase, and lactate dehydrogenase are raised, and bleeding markers are prolonged. Infection of the endothelium has a major pathogenic role. Besides direct infection of the endothelium, indirect damage by viral factors or virus-mediated host-derived soluble factors that cause endothelial activations and dysfunction are thought to occur. In diagnosis, enzyme-linked immunoassay and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR are used. Early diagnosis is critical for patient therapy and prevention of potential nosocomial infections. Supportive therapy is the most essential part of case management. Recent studies suggest that ribavirin is effective against CCHF, although definitive studies are not available. Health-care workers have a serious risk of infection, particularly during care of patients with haemorrhages from the nose, mouth, gums, vagina, and injection sites. Simple barrier precautions have been reported to be effective.
This article was published in Lancet Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense