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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Afghanistan (Update 1)

05 Jul 2024

The World Health Organization have reported a total of 470 suspected cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), including 35 deaths, have been reported since the beginning of 2024 (up to 29 June). A sharp rise in cases towards the end of June is thought may be attributed to close contact with animals during the Eid-ul-Adha holidays.

CCHF is an infection spread by tick bites and contact with animal blood that can cause a severe viral illness accompanied by bleeding.

Advice for Travellers

CCHF is extremely rare in travellers. The risk is higher if you are travelling to an area where the infection occurs and will be:

  • at increased risk of tick bites, for example whilst camping, hiking, visiting farms or animal sanctuaries
  • involved in the care or slaughter of animals
  • a healthcare worker who may be exposed to infected patients

If you are travelling to an area where CCHF virus is present, you need to be aware of the disease and how to avoid becoming infected by:

  • avoiding tick-bites
  • following appropriate infection control procedures if you are working in a health care setting
  • wearing gloves and other protective clothing if you are involved in the care or slaughter of animals.

There is no vaccine available for use against CCHF in the UK.

See the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever page for further information.