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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in North Macedonia

11 Aug 2023

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported a fatal case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in North Macedonia.

The patient lived near the city of Štip in eastern North Macedonia and was bitten by a tick on 19 July 2023 before developing a fever on 21 July 2023. The patient was admitted to hospital and later discharged, but then deteriorated, was admitted again and died on 27 July 2023.

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.