Potentially fatal tick disease hits livestock workers

Global russia SM Farm

A potentially fatal disease, Crimean Congo hermorrhagic fever (CCHF), is largely claiming its victims among those working in the livestock industry.

Passed on by ticks or infected animal blood and flesh, the majority of cases detected have been among agricultural workers, slaughterhouse staff and veterinarians.

Human-to-human transmission is also poss-ible but less common.

The Office of Rospotrebnadzor in the Stavropol Territory of south-western Russia reported its first case of the infection this month.

Last year at least 38 people in the same region were confirmed as having CCHF, with the latest victim believed to have been infected by a tick bite.

CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family.

The virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with up to 40 per cent of those infected at risk of dying.

Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about a week after infection.

This allows 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.

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