Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever is an infectious disease that can reach a mortality rate of 40%. Therefore, diagnosing it quickly is very important. Discover its symptoms and how it spreads.
Today we have learned of the case of a man who died of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever on August 25, after apparently receiving a tick bite while taking a walk in the countryside in Castillo y León, after confirmation.
And, as we have learned, there is a second hospitalized patient who is in isolation. This is the nurse who treated the man, and who, it seems, is also affected by Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. In addition to another 190 people who may have been in contact with the two affected.
As the specialists state, we would not only find ourselves before the first case of autochthonous contagion (of transmission of the tick-to-human virus) that occurs in Spain, but also that it occurs precisely in Europe.
But these are actually rare cases that occur rarely in the world, since tick bites are usually harmless in most cases.
What are ticks?
Ticks are small creatures, which are also known as iodides. They are considered the largest mites, and there are two main families: the Iodize family (or hard tick, the best known because it is the one that attacks humans), and the Argasidae family (or soft tick).
We usually find them in the tall grass, especially at the ends of the leaves, where they wait with the aim of hooking onto any animal that passes by them. In other words, the transmission method basically consists of direct contact, since ticks do not move by jumping as is erroneously believed.
After being transmitted, it tends to travel until it reaches a warm and moist place on the body. That is why we can easily find them in the hair, the groin or the armpits. And, when it reaches the chosen place, they use their pointed appendages to pierce the skin and start sucking blood.
As it feeds, its body begins to swell, and it secretes a kind of glue with which it sticks to the host to try to continue feeding as much as possible.
So far the bite of a tick is not a major problem. Unless it contains bacteria that finally pass to the host, being able to cause certain diseases, among which is hemorrhagic fever?
What is Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever?
Hemorrhagic fevers (medically known by the exact name of viral hemorrhagic fevers, VHF), consist of a group of diseases caused by viruses belonging to different families.
Among these diseases we can find Ebola, Lassa fever, Marburg hemorrhagic fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever or Korean fever. On this occasion, the man died of Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, another of the diseases caused by this family of viruses.
Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever is caused by a Nair virus, and is considered a serious disease, which can reach a mortality rate of 40% (ranges between 10% and 40%).
How is the disease spread?
It is a type of disease that can be spread in two ways: on the one hand, it can spread naturally from vertebrate animals to man (for example through cattle). On the other hand, it can be effectively spread from the bite of an insect, such as a tick.
Also, according to the World Health Organization itself, it is a type of disease that can be transmitted between people in direct contact with blood, secretions, body fluids and organs.
What are your symptoms?
After a tick bite, the incubation phase lasts between 1 to 3 days, reaching a maximum of 9 days.
Symptoms begin suddenly, especially in the form of fever, muscle aches, neck pain and stiffness, headaches, lumbago, eye irritation and hypersensitivity to light.
At first it tends to be common for sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain to appear. Then, after 2 to 4 days, the agitation can give way to weakness, depression, and drowsiness.
Other symptoms also occur, such as an increased heart rate, swollen lymph nodes, and a skin hemorrhage rash on internal mucous membranes (on the skin, in the mouth, and in the throat).
Sudden liver or lung failure (particularly after the fifth day of illness) may occur in severely ill patients, in addition to rapid renal deterioration.