Spain virus kills 'four in 10' and symptoms are 'headaches and mood swings'

UK tourists in Spain have been warned over a virus that kills an eye-watering FOUR in ten patients. Britons in Spain have been issued a warning about a deadly virus that kills "40 per cent" of victims as Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever is recorded in the European Union holiday hotspot.

The Spanish Castile and León Ministry of Health confirmed that the patient is in a critical but stable condition. Symptoms listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) include fever and dizziness, as well as headache, backache, sore eyes, neck pain, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, tummy pain, a sore throat and mood swings.

Confusion, depression, lymph nodes being enlarged and a faster heartbeat are also signs. Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in humans is a disease caused by CCHF virus (CCHFV). CCHFV is transmitted by bites from infected ticks (mainly of the Hyalomma genus) or by direct contact with blood or tissues of infected ticks, viraemic patients or viraemic livestock.

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Medical management consists of monitoring a patient’s fluid and electrolytes balance and organ functions, including their coagulation system. CCHF has a widespread geographical distribution. It is considered endemic in countries in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, western and south-central Asia.

It is estimated that globally between 10,000 and 15,000 human infections, including approximately 500 fatalities, occur annually. The UK Health and Security Agency, which has recorded three cases in the 21st Century, warned "as of January 2024, a total of 12 confirmed cases have been officially reported from Spain, including one case of nosocomial transmission in 2016, and 4 fatalities (one each in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022)".

Reported overall case fatality rates have varied from 5% to more than 40%, though this disparity is likely skewed by small sample sizes and failure to detect and report less severe cases.