With East Africa on the brink of facing an epidemic even more dreadful than the Black Death, medical specialists are looking towards a way to contain the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, a tick-borne infectious disease. With a mortality rate estimated at 40 to 60 percent, this condition has no cure.
What is the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever?
According to the specialists, the Crimea-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever is an infectious disease transmitted by the ticks of the Hyalomma genus. This type of hemorrhagic fever is endemic to Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
CCHF takes its name from its advanced stage when eye and nose bleeding occur. The condition is known to have two stages – the non-bleeding stage and the bleeding stage. The non-bleeding stage has an incubation period of four to five days when the patients experience symptoms such as high fever, muscle pain, diarrhea, nausea, and headache.
According to the specialists, the bleeding phase follows shortly after the non-bleeding phase. Red patches start to appear on the skin. Subsequently, the patients will experience extreme symptoms such as tarry stools, nasal and eye bleeding, and the presence of blood in mucus or vomit.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, only supportive care. In most cases, doctors also prescribe Ribavirin. Immunoglobulin therapies are also employed in the fight against CCH.
As for the mortality rate, the experts estimated that the disease is fatal 40 to 60 percent of cases. Death occurs as a result of circulatory shock and multiorgan failure.
The statistics show that not even the survivors have an uneventful convalescence. In case the patient manages to outride the bleeding phase of the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, the convalescence period usually lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 days.
However, convalescent patients can experience post-disease symptoms such as hair loss, memory loss, increased heart rate, weak pulse, and total loss of hearing.
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