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Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a viral infection that usually involves livestock, especially cattle, sheep, and goats, as well as certain birds, notably ostriches. Humans may acquire the disease by tick bites, by direct contact with infected animals or their tissues, or by exposure to an infected person. Most cases are reported in people who work with livestock, such as ranchers, shepherds, butchers, slaughterhouse workers, and veterinarians. Peak incidence occurs in the spring and fall. The incubation period is usually one to three days after a tick bite and five to six days after direct animal exposure. Initial symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, backache, joint pains, headaches, dizziness, and light sensitivity, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Signs of excessive bleeding (hemorrhage) may be observed. In severely ill patients, complications may include liver, kidney and respiratory failure. Neurologic symptoms may include mood swings, confusion, agitation, and obtundation. There is evidence that the antiviral drug ribavirin may be effective. No vaccine is currently available. The best means of prevention is to follow tick precautions and to wear gloves and protective garments when handling animal tissues or caring for infected patients. Strict barrier precautions are essential when patients with suspected Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever are admitted to the hospital.
From the World Health Organization (WHO)
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