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The Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (aka CCHF) is an Ebola-like disease, which has allegedly1 appeared in refugee camps on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There is no known vaccine, and it is terminal for between thirty to seventy percent of victims.

CCHF was discovered by Russian scientists in the Crimea in about 1944, and was found in a patient in the Congo in 1956. In 1967, a number of cases were noted, in which the virus was seen to be similar to the 1956 one, and it was established that the Crimean and Congo cases were caused by the same organism.

CCHF travels on an insect vector, usually the Hyalomma tick, as well as contact with infected animal or human blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids. The last confirmed outbreak was reported by the WHO as being in Kosovo in June 2001. The tick and the virus has been observed in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Symptoms (if you're eating finish now)

Following infection there is an incubation period of one to nine days. The symptoms manifest themselves suddenly, and include fever, weakness, severe muscle pain, dizziness, sore eyes and sensitivity to light. Symptoms include vomiting and a sore throat accompanied by diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Later stages of the disease are marked by subcutaneous haemorrhages, resulting in bleeding from the gums, nose, lungs, bladder, uterus, and intestine. Liver and kidney failure occurs after the fifth day of illness. Death can occur through shock and collapse of blood vessels, organ failure, and in some cases through blood loss.

Handling and study of the virus should only be conducted in a level 4 containment facility - the highest level of hazardous biological containment, used for dealing with highly contagious agents. Protective suits, air-filtration systems etc. are used, in the same way as handling Marburg or Ebola.

1: The article is in the Telegraph, and the huge URL:


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