CONGO FEVER: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment


CONGO FEVER: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), often known as Congo fever, is a kind of hemorrhagic fever that occurs in the Crimean Congo.

Congo fever, if not treated immediately, can result in death. Let us understand more about Congo fever, its causes, and the devastating effects it has on humanity.

According to the World Health Organization, “Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever disseminated mostly by ticks.” It can also be contracted by encountering viraemic animal tissues (tissue infected with the virus) during and immediately after animal slaughter.”

When Congo fever was discovered in Crimea in 1944, it was dubbed Crimean hemorrhagic fever. In 1969, scientists discovered that the pathogen that caused Crimean hemorrhagic fever and the pathogen that caused sickness in the Congo in 1956 were the same. The sickness was dubbed Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever as a result. According to the WHO, CCHF is a serious public health problem since it can produce epidemics and has a fatality rate of 10 to 40%.

Signs and Symptoms of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is characterized by symptoms such as high fever, back discomfort, joint pain, headache, stomach pain, and vomiting (CDC). Other potential symptoms include red eyes, a red throat, and red spots on the lips. When a patient has a severe case of CCHF, their mood, and sensory perception change. If not treated quickly, CCHF can cause severe nosebleeds and profuse bleeding at the injection site.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Some of the laboratory procedures used to diagnose Congo fever include antigen identification, serum neutralization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent test, RT-PCR, and virus isolation by cell culture. In individuals who have been infected for a few days, an RNA test is utilized to determine the viral load.

Unfortunately, there is no therapy for Congo fever. Furthermore, there is no vaccine for use in animals. As a result, doctors employ medicine to treat the symptoms of the condition. Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, is very beneficial in this regard.

How to Reduce the Chances of Contracting Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever

Raising public awareness about Congo fever and its risk factors is critical to minimizing the prevalence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Wear light-colored, protective clothing to reduce the risk of a tick transmitting illness to a human. Tickicides, or tick-killing chemicals, can also be applied to your clothing. Use tick repellent and avoid areas where tick populations are prevalent.

To reduce the risk of Congo fever transmission from animals to humans, you must wear protective clothing when visiting an endemic area and handling animals, especially when they are slaughtered or butchered. It is also advised to treat the animals with pesticides two weeks before slaughter.

To reduce the risk of Congo fever spreading from person to person, avoid close contact with infected people and always use protective equipment when caring for ill patients. After that, thoroughly wash your hands.

Also Read: Blood, Heart and Circulation: How to Maintain Healthy Heart

Congo Fever Alert in Maharashtra

Why was it making headlines?

  • The Palghar government has asked police in the Maharashtra region to be on high alert in case Congo fever spreads.
  • When Congo fever was first discovered in Crimea in 1944, it was dubbed Crimean hemorrhagic fever.
  • In 1969, scientists discovered that the pathogen that caused Crimean hemorrhagic fever and the pathogen that caused sickness in Congo in 1956 were the same.
  • The sickness was dubbed Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever as a result.

The CCHF is a frequent sickness caused by a tick-borne virus of the Bunyaviridae family (Nairo virus).

The virus is transmitted by the bite of a Hyalomin tick, which is an external parasite that feeds on the blood of mammals, birds, and other animals.

It can also be contracted by meeting viraemic animal tissues (tissue infected with the virus) during and shortly after animal slaughter.

When infected persons come into close contact with each other’s blood, saliva, organs, or other bodily fluids, human-to-human transmission occurs. Aside from improper sterilisation of medical equipment, needle reuse, and contamination of medical supplies, hospital-acquired infections can occur. Because the virus may produce epidemics and has a high case fatality rate, CCHF outbreaks represent a risk to public health services (10-40 percent).

The case fatality rate (CFR) is a disease severity measure that is defined as the proportion of incidences of a specific sickness or condition that are fatal during a specified period.


  • The most basic approach to treating CCHF in people is to provide general supportive care as well as symptom relief.
  • Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, has been used successfully to treat CCHF infection.
  • Vaccinations for people and animals are not generally available.


In October 2008, a 60-year-old butcher with a high fever, chills, and headache was sent to a distant hospital in Al-Fulah, southern Sudan. Over the next two days, he had diarrhea, started bleeding from his nose, and vomited blood. He passed within only five days after falling ill.

The hospital lacked protective gloves and antiseptic supplies, and six days after the butcher’s admittance, a male nurse who had been caring for him, followed by the senior male nurse, began to display symptoms. The man’s sister was admitted to the hospital with severe vaginal bleeding, and the midwife who examined her suffered a high fever, blood vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Two more relatives, as well as three other hospital patients, aided in the butcher’s care by dressing him, changing his mattresses and bedsheets, nursing, and sleeping with him while he was in the hospital.

At least six of the ten people were killed (records were unavailable for three of the patients). Three additional persons were killed in the community. Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever was shown to be the cause in at least eight of the patients whose blood serum was tested (CCHF).

This is only one of the numerous small CCHF outbreaks that have occurred in recent years. The virus that distributes it is classified as a biosafety category 4 illness, which means it commonly causes fatal infections in humans and has no effective treatment. The most common methods to get the infection are through contact with sick animals, their freshly killed meat, or being bitten by an infected tick. The parasites’ growing geographical spread is a major source of concern.


CCHF has always been a possible threat to India, and the latest outbreak in Gujarat has made it a reality. There were already animals that served as vectors and reservoirs. Ganjam virus of Nairobi sheep disease, for example, is spread by the same vector as the CCHF virus and has previously been described.

The emergence of this devastating viral infection in such a huge country as India, which meets all the virus’s ecological conditions, is a concern for the whole medical world. This emphasizes the significance of continual surveillance, not just for illnesses existing in any one location, but also for infections that may pose a future threat. Even for surveillance purposes, the use of molecular methods is critical to avoiding the spread of this extremely dangerous virus

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  • zortilo nrel Reply

    Hello.This article was extremely interesting, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last couple of days.

    January 28, 2022 at 8:54 am

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