CCHF virus comes to India

The first ever case of human infection with Crimea Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) virus in India has been reported from Ahmedabad, the government of India confirmed on Wednesday.

The CCHF virus is known to be transmitted among animals through ticks. It does not produce disease in animals but kills from 20% to 40% of humans beings who get the disease.

Tests conducted at National Institute of Virology (ICMR, Pune) have confirmed the presence of CCHF virus in blood as well as urine samples of the patient, it said.

It urged people not to panic, urging citizens to exercise caution when dealing with sick animals. “CCHF outbreaks can easily be controlled by proper hygiene and infection control measures in the Hospital(s) where patients are admitted. Similar precautions should be taken in the community specially while slaughtering the animals from whose tissues the infection can spread to humans,” the health ministry said.

ICMR said that typically, after a one to three day incubation period following a tick bite (5-6 days after exposure to infected blood or tissues), flu-like symptoms appear, which may resolve after one week. In up to 75% of cases, however, signs of hemorrhage appear within 3-5 days of the onset of illness. Patients usually begin to recover after 9-10 days from symptom onset, but there could be mortality in some cases

A team of specialists from National Institute of Communicable Diseases has already been deputed for Ahemadabad, the ministry said.

The CCHF virus has earlier been reported from Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Pakistan. There is serological evidence of CCHF infection being present in India in animals which however do not get the disease, the ministry said.