On 14 May 2022, Turkish media reported that a person died of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in the town of Sivas, Turkey, and also reported that a further three people are currently being treated for CCHF in the same part of the country. There have been 27 cases of CCHF in Turkey from 1 January to 16 May 2022.
CCHF is a potentially fatal tick-borne viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF), found in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern and Southern Europe. There is no vaccine available for use in the UK.
Advice for travellers
CCHF is spread by ticks infected from an animal reservoir such as cattle, sheep and goats, and can also be transmitted by having contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected animal or person.
While CCHF is extremely rare in travellers, there is an increased risk to those visiting an endemic region who may:
- have an increased likelihood of tick bites during activities such as hiking, camping in rural areas or visiting farms
- be involved in animal slaughter, for example during religious or cultural events
- be travelling for veterinary or medical work reasons
Travellers with an increased risk of infection should be aware of the disease and prevent transmission by:
- practicing tick bite avoidance when partaking in outdoor activities
- following appropriate infection control procedures if working in a healthcare setting
- wearing gloves and other protective clothing while handling animals or their tissues, notably during slaughtering, butchering and culling procedures
Further information on CCHF can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Sources: TRAVAX, 17 May 2022 and fitfortravel, 17 May 2022