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Tickborne diseases
Potential pathway for Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever virus to enter the UK
  1. L. Paul Phipps1,
  2. Nicholas Johnson1,
  3. Paul Gale1,
  4. Liz Shickle1,
  5. Helen Roberts1,
  6. Anthony R. Fooks1 and
  7. Robert Quest2
  1. 1Wildlife Zoonoses and Vector Borne Disease Research Group, AHVLA – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  2. 2 City of London Corporation, Animal Health and Welfare Services, Heathrow Animal Reception Centre, Hounslow, Middlesex TW6 3JF
  1. e-mail: paul.phipps{at}

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CRIMEAN Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tickborne zoonotic disease that is non-pathogenic to many animals, but is highly pathogenic to humans and a serious threat to public health (Ergonul 2006). The causative agent is the CCHF virus (CCHFV), and the disease has the widest geographical distribution of any tickborne viral disease, with outbreaks having been recorded in Greece, Turkey, the Balkans, former Soviet Union countries, through the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Human infection may progress from early febrile symptoms to a severe haemorrhagic condition associated with high mortality. Although CCHFV is transmitted to animals by the bite of infected ticks, most human infections are via direct contact with blood or tissues from infected livestock, nosocomial transmission or through crushing infected ticks. CCHFV is transmitted in enzootic cycles to vertebrates by hard ticks of the genus Hyalomma, in particular Hyalomma marginatum marginatum. The main potential source of introduction to the UK of this virus has been through the attachment of Hyalomma nymphs to migratory birds (Foley-Fisher and others 2012, Jameson and others 2012 …

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