Surveillance and outbreak alert

First documented case of human Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in India

One confirmed and additional suspected cases of ‘Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever’, a viral haemorrhagic fever, have been reported in Gujarat in India. This is the first time that CCHF cases have been documented in India. As of 19 January 2011, three deaths have occurred in confirmed and suspected cases of CCHF including an attending doctor and nurse. WHO India and SEARO are collaborating with Government of India to provide technical support to respond to the situation.

CCHFV infection occurs primarily in animals including cattle, sheep and goats but these animals do not develop disease. Cases of CCHF in humans are infrequent but have been reported in various parts of world including Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union, the Mediterranean, in northwestern China, central Asia, southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. The disease in humans is transmitted through contact with blood, body fluids, and organs of infected animals and through bite of ticks. The caregivers who are attending to a confirmed case of CCHF including healthcare facility workers can get this infection through direct contact with blood and body fluids of the patient and needlestick injury.