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article imageThe rare tropical disease, Congo Fever, kills first victim in UK

By Nancy Houser     Oct 6, 2012 in Health
The rare tropical disease, Congo Fever, has killed its first victim. Congo fever is a zoonosis disease --- a disease found in animals that can infect humans.
After returning from Kabul in Afghanistan, a man was taken to the hospital within three hours upon his return. He was treated in complete isolation in Glasgow, UK, after being confirmed as having Crimean-Congo Viral Haemorrhagic Fever.
The individual had been returning from Kabul in Afghanistan. He died on October 6th, at the Brownlee unit at Glasgow's Gartnavel General Hospital, which specializes in infectious diseases.
Other names by which Congo Fever is known are Crimean-Congo Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (CCVHF), Central Asian hemorrhagic fever, and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever.
Congo fever is a viral fever, transmitted from animals to humans. This can be done through the ixodid tick-bite or direct contact with blood or infected tissues from livestock --- specifically cattle, sheep, goats, and hares. Other diseases caused by this tick are:
* Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
* Kyasanur Forest disease
* Louping ill
* Omsk hemorrhagic fever
* Powassan encephalitis
* Rocky Mountain spotted fever
* Russian Spring-Summer encephalitis
* Tick-borne encephalitis
* Tularemi
Documentation of the spread of CCHF has also occurred in hospitals due to improper sterilization of medical equipment, reuse of injection needles, and contamination of medical supplies.The fever itself is rare, but incidence has risen over the past ten years or so, killing between 10-40% of infected people.
The disease is present in over 30 countries. CDC reports that it can be found in Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Soviet Union. It is also distributed throughout the Mediterranean, in northwestern China, central Asia, southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.
Onset of Congo Fever is sudden, with initial symptoms including high fever, joint pain, stomach pain, and vomiting. Red eyes, a flushed face and red spots in the throat are also common. As the illness continues, patients can develop large areas of severe bruising, severe nosebleeds, and uncontrolled bleeding.
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