Crimean Congo Virus Unlikely To Spread
October 7, 2012

UK Officials: Fatal Crimean Congo Virus Unlikely To Spread

April Flowers for — Your Universe Online

The UK's first laboratory confirmed case of Crimean Congo Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (CCVHF) has died. Even so, health officials are stressing that this will not become a public outbreak. The Health Protection Agency is adamant the 38-year-old unnamed man poses no threat to others.

"It can be acquired from an infected patient, but this requires direct contact with their blood or body fluids. Therefore, there is no risk to the general population," said a spokeswoman.

The patient was diagnosed after returning to Glasgow from Kabul, Afghanistan. His flight connected through Dubai.

He was originally being treated at Gartnavel General Hospital's Browlee Center, which specializes in infectious disease, but was later flown to London's Royal Free Hospital's high-security infectious diseases unit. The Royal Free Hospital houses the national specialist center for the management of patients with hazardous infections.

Precautionary measures have been taken to contact the four passengers in most direct contact with the patient and two of them are under daily monitoring for the next two weeks — which is the incubation period for CCVHF.  The other two passengers do not require monitoring and the risk to the rest of the flight is extremely low.

"The monitoring of these two passengers is purely precautionary and is in line the national guidance for the management of cases such as this."

CCVHF is fatal in about 30% of human cases. It is a zoonosis, which is a disease that is common in animals but can transfer to humans. It is present in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Onset of the disease is fast, with high fever, joint pain, stomach pain and vomiting. Red eyes, flushed face and red spots in the throat are also common symptoms. As the disease progresses, the patient can develop large areas of deep bruising, severe nosebleeds and uncontrolled bleeding.