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    What is Killer Virus? What are the Symptoms of Killer Virus?

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    What is Killer Virus? What are the symptoms of Killer Virus?

    The Killer virus, also called Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) virus, is currently making news worldwide due to its outbreak in Europe. The disease, originating from the Nairovirus, is deadly, affecting humans and animals through ticks. The CCHF remained endemic to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans due to the geographical limitations of the principal tick vector until recently. However, with the current climate crisis, CCHF outbreaks are seemingly high all over Europe and have an alarmingly high probability of reaching the UK. As a result, an urgent public health warning has been issued for caution.

    The killer virus has a fatality rate of 10-40%, with death occurring in the second week of infection. Interestingly, there is no known vaccine to prevent this disease. The only known antiviral drug effective against this disease is ribavirin. Sounds more like a 2020 flashback. Now, are we looking at a potential pandemic? Well, time will only tell us. In the meantime, let’s switch on our early pandemic mode and remain careful. To know more about the symptoms, treatments, and prevention, keep reading.

    Killer Virus Europe – History

    First recognized in Crimean Peninsular in 1944, the disease was first called Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever. However, on the discovery of its pathogen in 1969 and the understanding that the same pathogen caused illness in the Congo Basin in 1956, the disease was renamed to its present-day version. According to the WHO, the viral hosts are mostly wild and domestic animals such as goats, cattle, and sheep. Birds, except for Ostrich, remain unaffected by the viral infection.

    Symptoms of Killer Virus

    What Is Killer Virus? What Are The Symptoms Of Killer Virus?

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    The CCHF can show various symptoms with varying levels of severity. The incubation period of the virus can be 3-7 days long after the tick bite/contact with infected blood, and the patients may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue at the onset of the disease. Interestingly, some people might also experience photophobia (sensitivity to light), confusion, and sharp mood swings. As the disease progresses, more severe symptoms may develop, such as:

    Hemorrhagic Manifestations: The Killer virus may cause internal and external bleeding. Bleeding from the nose, gums, gastrointestinal tract, or injection sites, similar to dengue fever can be observed in affected patients.

    Petechiae and Ecchymoses: Due to blood vessel leakage, small red or purple spots (petechiae) or larger areas of bruising (ecchymoses) may appear in the mouth and throat, and on the skin.

    Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may occur.

    Hepatic Dysfunction: Liver involvement can lead to jaundice and elevated liver enzymes.

    Neurological Symptoms: In some cases, patients may experience confusion, dizziness, and even seizures.

    Further complications include hepatitis, rapid kidney failure, liver failure, or pulmonary failure, generally after day 5 of infection.

    Transmission of Killer Virus – The Infection Cycle

    Stage 1: Infected Tick-to-Animal

    The Killer virus infects the animals when the carrier tick bites the animal, facilitating the entry of the virus into the animal’s bloodstream. The virus usually incubates in the host animal’s bloodstream for one week following infection. However, the tick-animal-tick infection cycle continues when another carrier tick bites.

    Stage 2: Animal/Tick-to-Human

    The transmission of the Killer virus from animals to human occurs when humans come in close contact with the bloodstream or tissue of infected animals during and immediately post-slaughter. It is also possible that the virus enters the human bloodstream directly when the infected tick bites a human. Agricultural workers, veterinarians, and slaughterhouse workers are highly susceptible at this stage.

    Stage 3: Human-to-Human

    Humans get infected by other humans when in close contact with blood, organs, tissues, and other bodily secretions of the infected person. Hospital staff, family, close friends, and relatives of the infected person are at high risk of infection at this stage.

    Preventing the spread of the Killer Virus

    Human-to-Human

    The preventive measures to stop spreading the CCHF from human to human are the same as COVID-19 prevention measures:

    1. Avoid close contact with infected persons.
    2. Use protective gear when caring for the infected person.
    3. Wash hands thoroughly after visiting public spaces or visiting/caring for ill people.

    Tick-to-Human

    The recommendations of the World Health Organization on reducing tick-to-human transmission are:

    1. Wear protective clothing (long sleeves, long trousers), preferably light-colored clothing to allow easy detection of ticks on the clothes.
    2. Use approved acaricides (chemicals intended to kill ticks) on clothing.
    3. Use approved repellent on the skin and clothing.
    4. Regularly examine clothing and skin for ticks; if found, remove them safely.
    5. Prevent or control tick infestations on animals in stables and barns.
    6. Avoid areas where ticks are abundant and seasons when they are most active.

    Animal-to-Human

    1. Wear gloves and other protective clothing while handling animals or their tissues in endemic areas, notably during slaughtering, butchering, and culling procedures
    2. Quarantine animals before they enter slaughterhouses, or regularly treat animals with pesticides 2 weeks before slaughter.

    Killer Virus – FAQs

    What is the Killer virus?

    First recognized in Crimean Peninsular in 1944, Killer virus, also called CCHF virus, is a deadly virus that infects humans and animals.

    How deadly is the Killer virus?

    The mortality rate of this virus is approximately 30% and no vaccines exist to date.

    Is there any medicine or antidrug available against the Killer virus?

    Currently, ribavirin is the only known solution. However, the efficacy is still not confirmed.

    What is CCHF?

    Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a deadly disease caused by the Killer virus in humans and animals through tick infestation.

    What are the symptoms of the Killer virus?

    Onset symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. The severity of these symptoms depends on the incubation period and mode.

    Is the Killer virus life-threatening?

    The mortality rate of this virus is approximately 30% and no vaccines exist to date. Possible complications include hepatitis, rapid kidney failure, liver failure, or pulmonary failure, generally after day 5 of infection.

    Why is the Killer virus trending now?

    The reports of widespread Killer virus infections in the European region (traditionally out of geographical limits of the carrier ticks) have received massive attention from public health and scientific organizations. The outbreak has reached a point where a possible jump from the European countries to the UK is highly likely and hence, a public health warning has been issued.

    How does the Killer virus spread?

    The Killer virus spreads through tick vectors that are commonly found on animals. When the infected tick bites the host animal or human, the virus enters the host’s bloodstream. Indirect infection of humans is possible when in close contact with the blood or bodily secretions of infected humans or animals.

    Can I prevent Killer virus infection?

    Yes, by avoiding close contact with the infected person/animal. Use protective gear when caring for an infected person/animal. Wearing protective long sleeves, and lightly colored clothes can also help prevent infected ticks from biting you.

    Hope we are not dealing with a potential pandemic here. Stay safe, stay updated, and subscribe to Just A Library for more trending news.

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    Ceeliya
    Ceeliya
    The badass Buttercup of this PowerPuff Team. Loves sleep and dance equally; hence, the perfect example of a lazy enthusiast. A fitness freak who turned into an amateur foodie post joining this gang.

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