Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Afghanistan
04 Jul 2023
The media has reported a significant increase in cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Afghanistan with the provinces of Herat and Takhar being particularly affected. In the 7 days up to the end of June 2023, there were 90 cases reported. Five deaths due to CCHF have also been reported. Health officials in affected provinces are swiftly implementing measures to contain the outbreak.
CCHF is an infection spread by tick bites that can cause a severe viral illness accompanied by bleeding.
Advice for Travellers
CCHF is extremely rare in travellers. The risk is higher if you are travelling to an area where the infection occurs and will be:
- at increased risk of tick bites, for example whilst camping, hiking, visiting farms or animal sanctuaries
- involved in the care or slaughter of animals
- a healthcare worker who may be exposed to infected patients
If you are travelling to a high risk area, you need to be aware of the disease and how to prevent becoming infected by:
- avoiding tick-bites
- following appropriate infection control procedures if you are working in a health care setting
- wearing gloves and other protective clothing if you are involved in the care or slaughter of animals.
There is no vaccine available for use against CCHF in the UK.
See the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever page for further information.