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Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is causing deaths as far afield as Turkey, where there have been forty deaths, to South Africa, Russia and Greece.
It is an virus carried by ticks which after 2-7 days after infection causes headache, loss of appetite, muscle pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, rash and bleeding from nose and gums, then progressing to mood swings, lassitude, hepatitis and haemorrhages.
Between 2-50%of people die after contracting Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever.
CCHF is spread by ticks which live on cattle, sheep, goats, birds and small mammals such as rodents, hares and hedgehogs.
It is usually transmitted to man by the bite of an infected tick, by crushing them with bare hands and through direct contact with infected blood and tissue from livestock.
There is no safe and effective vaccine available for use in humans. Avoidance of tick bites is the main preventive measure, especially during summer months when they are most active - usually March to October in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Minimise the risk by using insect repellents on the skin containing DEET and wearing long sleeves and trousers treated with permetherine.
Do not use 'petroleum jelly', any liquid solution, freeze or burn the tick, as this will stimulate it to regurgitate its stomach contents, increasing the chances of infection use a commercial tick remover or scalpel, do not use fingers as you may become infected. Individuals who have travelled to endemic areas and develop symptoms following a tick bite must contact their physician.