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9 of the worst viruses on Earth

By: Mary Jo DiLonardo on Dec. 9, 2019, 8:36 a.m.
crimean congo hemorrhagic fever virus

Photo: NIAID [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr

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​Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever

Spread primarily to people from ticks and livestock, the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever first emerged in Crimea in 1944, where it got the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Later, when it was recognized in 1969 as the culprit for illness in the Congo, the name changed to reflect the resulting illness. CCHF outbreaks have a fatality rate of as high as 40%, according to the WHO, and there is no vaccine.

Symptoms come on suddenly and include headache, high fever, vomiting, and back, joint and stomach pain. As the illness continues, there can be severe bruising and nosebleeds, as well as bleeding in the face, mouth and throat.

In some cases, the virus can be transmitted between people due to close contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. CCHF is found in many places including Africa, central Asia, the Middle East, eastern and southern Europe and India.