New strain of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever: what are the symptoms of this tick-borne disease that kills up to 40% of infected people?

While a new strain of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever has recently been discovered in Russia. The Independent takes stock of the symptoms that can alert.

On Tuesday, Russian scientists from Sechenov University in Moscow discovered a new strain of the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fevera disease with a case fatality rate of up to 40%, which worries them.

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The pathology, caused by a Nairovirus of the family of Bunyaviridae, is endemic in a number of countries ofAfricaof the Balkansfrom Middle East and in some Asian states.
She is also occasionally responsible for epidemic waves in the regions of southern russialocated between the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas on the borders of Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan : in Stavropol, Rostov, Astrakhan and Volgograd regions, Kalmykia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria, recalls the Tass news agency.

Cases are also occasionally observed in Europe. In May 2020, a man had to be hospitalized in Spain after being bitten by a tick in a pine forest in the province of Salamanca. Sero-epidemiological surveys have shown that the virus is circulating in Tunisia as well as in Spain.

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Transmitted to humans primarily by ticks and cattle, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever can be transmitted from person to person through blood contact, secretions or other bodily fluids.

From one to thirteen days of incubation

The incubation period depends on the mode of contamination:

  • After one tick bite for example, it is usually one to three dayss, with a maximum of nine days.
  • After contact with infected blood or tissueit is generally 5 to 6 dayswith a documented maximum of 13 days.

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Sudden onset of symptoms

Then the appearance of symptoms following is brutal:

  • feverof the myalgia (muscle aches),
  • dizziness,
  • stiffness and pains of the necke,
  • back pain,
  • headaches,
  • eye sensitivity and photophobia (sensation of discomfort caused by light).

Sometimes, at the beginning, nausea are observed vomitingof the diarrheaof the abdominal pain and one sore throatthen sudden mood swingsr and the confusion.

After two to four days, the agitation may give way to a drowsinessa depression, weariness; them abdominal pain are located in the upper right quadrant withon palpation, a hepatomegaly (increased liver volume).

Up to severe hepatic or pulmonary insufficiency

Other clinical signs are associated with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever:

  • tachycardia (increased heart rate),
  • adenopathies (swollen lymph nodes),
  • petechial rash (rash caused by bleeding into the skin) on the inside of the mucous membranes, such as in the mouth or throat, and on the skin.
  • petechiae can lead to the formation of larger rashes, called bruises and others hemorrhagic phenomena.
  • there are usually signs of hepatitis and the most severely affected individuals may develop rapid decline in renal function, liver or lung failure sudden from the fifth day of illness.

No vaccine

In man, since he there is currently no vaccine safe, effective and widely available, the management of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever relies mainly on the treatment of symptoms. Ribavirin (an antiviral) is most often administered with good results. Its administration seems effective either orally or intravenously.

the mortality rate due to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever can reach up to 40% According to the WHO, the dead occurring during the second week of illnesse.

For those who recoverthe general condition begins to improve from nine to ten days afters the onset of symptoms.

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