How is Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Transmitted to Humans?
The primary vectors for CCHF are ixodid (hard) ticks belonging to the Hyalomma genus. The Hyalomma genus of ixodid ticks acts as a vector and a reservoir for the CCHF virus. Main species include H.marginatum, H.rufipes, H.anatolicum, and H.asiaticum .
CCHF cases are most prevalent during the spring and summer when the Hyalomma ticks find the environment most suitable. CCHF-carrying ticks infest many types of animals, including domesticated sheep, cattle, goats, hares, hedgehogs, and more, but these animals mostly remain asymptomatic. This viral hemorrhagic fever is transmitted to humans when they come in contact with the infected ticks themselves or the blood of an infected animal host. Birds are not usually susceptible to CCHF infections, but migratory birds can carry and spread the virus [4, 12].
Human to human transmission occurs through the exchange of body fluids or contact with infected blood. Another way is through healthcare-associated infections (HAI) or nosocomial transmission through contaminated medical equipment.
People most at risk are butchers or those who work with livestock or in slaughterhouses, and healthcare workers . The risk of contracting CCHF from travel is rare, but instances have been reported.