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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Afghanistan

09 Nov 2023

The World Health Organization reports continued transmission of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Afghanistan. From the beginning of 2023 to 23 October 2023, 1 190 suspected cases, including 110 deaths in 15 provinces. More than half of these have been reported from Kabul and Balkh provinces. Most of these cases have been laboratory tested, with 370 cases confirmed positive.

CCHF is an infection spread by tick bites and contact with animal blood 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 an area where CCHF virus is present, you need to be aware of the disease and how to avoid 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.