Confirm two cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in El Bierzo

cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CHFC) were confirmed last July in two men with residence in the Leone region of El Bierzo, according to a report published on the website of the Ministry of Health and prepared by the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies.

According to the report, the first diagnosed case was that of a hunter, 49 years oldwith a history of bites from ticks of the Hyalomma variety, which transmits the disease, who began experiencing symptoms on July 12 and is currently in stable condition after being admitted to a hospital in the Basque Country.

The second case and who has now been released, belongs to another 51-year-old man, who was retrospectively diagnosed on July 20, after dying on June 19 of an unknown cause with suspected sulfur compound poisoning.

After his death and after performing various tests, it was determined that he died of hemorrhagic fevers of Crimea-Congo.

The CCHF virus is mainly transmitted by ticks of the genus Hyalomma and can also cause person-to-person transmission by contact with the blood or secretions of a sick person.

The Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies report also states that studies on ticks and wild and domestic animals know the extension of the circulation, having been detected in large areas of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Andalusia.

In addition, they have recently been detected in animal serology studies conducted in Galicia and in Catalonia.

In Spain until 2021 only 10 cases had been detected

The province of León and in particular the Bierzo region was considered low risk, given the low presence of Hyalomma and the low prevalence of antibodies against the virus in wild and domestic animals in the serological studies carried out, in which it was about 1-2%.

In Spain until 2021 only 10 cases had been detected and the detection of these two new clusters over time and in a specific geographical area considered to be at low risk, where another case had also been detected in 2021, justifies the rapid risk assessment carried out by the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center.

On the other hand, the Center called for the intensification of public health measures in the areas with the presence of the virusespecially in the area where cases have recently been detected, emphasizing recommendations to the population for the prevention and management of tick bites, active and passive surveillance of cases, entomological study and l study of virus circulation in animals and humans.

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