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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Spain (Castile and Leon)

21 Jul 2022

On 20 July 2022 the government of Castile and León (north west Spain) reported a case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is being treated in hospital in Ponferrada.

CCHF is an infection spread by tick bites that can cause a severe viral illness accompanied by bleeding.  It is found in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern/Southern Europe.

CCHF is uncommon in Spain. A small number of cases has been recorded each summer in recent years.

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.