Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)

Tick of genus Hyalomma

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks. It can be responsible for severe outbreaks in humans but it is not pathogenic for ruminants, their amplifying host.

The disease was first described in the Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In 1969 it was recognized that the pathogen causing Crimean haemorrhagic fever was the same as that responsible for an illness identified in 1956 in the Congo, and linkage of the two place names resulted in the current name for the disease and the virus.

CCHF spreads to humans either by tick-bites, or through contact with viraemic animal tissues during and immediately post-slaughter. CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services because of its epidemic potential, its high case fatality ratio (10-40%), its potential for nosocomial outbreaks and the difficulties in treatment and prevention. CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia south of the 50° parallel north, the geographic limit of the genus Hyalomma, the principal tick vector.



Information resources

WHO Fact sheet

Contact information

Department of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland