The impact of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus on public health

Antiviral Res. 2013 May;98(2):248-60. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.02.007. Epub 2013 Feb 28.


Climatic, environmental and economic changes, as well as the steadily increasing global trade and personal mobility provide ample opportunities for emerging pathogens with zoonotic potential to spread to previously unaffected countries. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is considered to be one of the major emerging disease threats spreading to and within the European Union following an expanding distribution of its main vector, ticks of the genus Hyalomma. Every year more than 1000 human CCHF cases are reported from countries of southeastern Europe and Turkey. CCHFV can cause high case fatality rates and can be transmitted from human to human. There are no vaccine prophylaxis and therapeutic interventions available at present. Several EU-funded research projects focus currently on CCHFV which highlights the awareness for this problem at the European level. As public health deals with questions of prevention on a population level rather than healing and health on an individual level, the analysis of existing data plays a fundamental role to minimize its epidemic potential, by reducing infection risks, and to manage disease outbreaks. This review gives a summary of the current knowledge and data with focus at the interface between public health and CCHFV. Based on this knowledge, guidelines for the risk classification of a region and for outbreak prevention are given. This review will assist decision makers and public health authorities in understanding risk scenarios and in deciding on effective countermeasures, as well as human and veterinary scientists by highlighting existing gaps in knowledge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / virology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo / genetics
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo / physiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / transmission
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean / virology
  • Humans
  • Ticks / virology