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Spain - Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever - 2021

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  • Spain - Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever - 2021

    Opening date: 29 April 2021 Latest update: 30 April 2021

    Epidemiological summary

    According to Spanish health authorities, one case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) was confirmed by the national reference laboratory in the autonomous community of Castilla y Leon on 19 April 2021. The case is a 59-year-old male farmer with recent exposure to tick bites. The case sought medical attention on 18 April 2021 in Salamanca, Spain, showing compatible symptoms for CCHF. The case is currently in a stable condition and reported one close contact, which is currently being followed up by the regional health authorities.

    Sources: Media | Regional health authorities

    ECDC assessment Ticks from the Hyalomma spp. are considered the principal vectors of the CCHF virus. Hyalomma marginatum is widely present in southern and eastern Europe, as shown in the distribution map published in March 2021. In Spain, the main vector is Hyalomma lusitanicum, as shown in the distribution map published in March 2021. Hunters, forest workers, hikers, and people working with animals are more likely to be exposed to ticks and therefore to be infected. People potentially exposed to ticks should apply personal protective measures against tick bites. Healthcare providers caring for patients infected with CCHF virus are at risk of human-to-human transmission, as demonstrated in 2016 in Spain, in which a healthcare worker was infected while attending to a primary case. The risk of further human-to-human transmission in hospital settings can be significantly reduced by applying timely and appropriate infection prevention and control measures.

    On 9 September 2016, ECDC published a rapid risk assessment related to CCHF cases in Spain. The assessment remains valid for the current event. In addition, in July 2019, the Spanish authorities published a situational report and risk assessment related to CCHF in Spain.

    Additional information on CCHF can be found in ECDC's Surveillance Atlas of Infectious Diseases, ECDC's factsheet and in the latest version of ECDC's annual epidemiological report.
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