Killer Virus CCHF Spreading Across Europe Is Highly Likely To Reach UK

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UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Reports indicate that new cases of a deadly virus, which is currently considered the most significant public health threat, have emerged throughout Europe. Experts warn that there is a possibility of the virus spreading to the United Kingdom. The virus in question is Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), which initially surfaced in Iraq and Namibia. Tragically, it has already claimed two lives in Pakistan.

CCHF Likely To Hit UK Soon

Meanwhile, there have been several reported cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Spain. Experts who spoke to the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee of Parliament last week have warned that it is highly probable that cases may soon emerge in the UK as well, according to the Mirror. During the hearing, James Wood, the head of veterinary medicine at Cambridge University, highlighted the potential risk of CCHF transmission to the UK through ticks.

In recent discussions with the Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee of Parliament, informed sources have shed light on the imminent threat of the disease infiltrating the UK. During a crucial hearing, James Wood, a distinguished figure in veterinary medicine at Cambridge University, voiced his apprehension regarding the potential transmission of the disease through ticks across the nation.

The emergence of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) beyond its customary confines, and its encroachment towards the UK and France, has sparked widespread concern, primarily attributed to the impact of climate change.

What Is The Cause Of CCHF?

The disease, known as Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), is caused by the Nairovirus, which is transmitted through tick bites. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CCHF has a fatality rate ranging from 10 to 40 percent.

Typically, this condition is found in small pockets in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Asia. However, due to climate change, there is a growing concern that the disease may be spreading beyond its usual territories, potentially reaching countries like Britain and France.

According to reports Spain has already witnessed cases of the disease. Recognizing the severity of CCHF, the WHO has classified it as one of its nine priority diseases, highlighting the significant public health risks it poses.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), human-to-human transmission of the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) can occur through close contact with the secretions, organs, or bodily fluids of infected individuals. What is particularly concerning is the absence of a vaccine currently available for CCHF, whether for humans or animals affected by this disease.

CCHF is primarily transmitted to humans from animals through tick bites or contact with infected animal tissues, especially immediately after their slaughter. A wide range of wild and domestic animals, including cattle, sheep, and goats, serve as hosts for CCHF.

What Are The Symptoms Of CCHF?

Some of the symptoms associated with the virus include headaches, high fever, back and joint pain, stomach ache, and vomiting. Additionally, red eyes, a flushed face, a red throat, and petechiae (red spots) on the palate are commonly observed.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in severe cases, individuals may experience jaundice, mood swings, and sensory perception issues. As the illness advances, large areas of severe bruising, intense nosebleeds, and uncontrolled bleeding at injection sites may occur.

 These symptoms typically manifest around the fourth day of illness and persist for approximately two weeks. It is important to note that the virus can cause a range of symptoms, some of which can be severe. Therefore, it is crucial to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms are present.

During documented outbreaks of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), the fatality rates among patients requiring hospitalization have exhibited a wide range, spanning from a modest nine percent to a staggering 50 percent.

 Regrettably, the long-term consequences of CCHF infection on survivors remain inadequately explored, leaving us uncertain about the existence of any specific complications. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that recovery from this affliction is a protracted and arduous journey.

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Reported Deaths By The Disease

Iraq reportedly faced a significant battle against a rampant disease last year, with a staggering 212 incidents recorded between January 1 and May 22. Astonishingly, the majority of these incidents, amounting to 169, occurred within the short span of April and May. In a distressing update, Agence France-Presse revealed in May that Iraq had already witnessed nearly 100 new cases and tragically, 13 deaths in 2023, all attributed to the relentless toll of this disease.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.