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Open Access Commentary

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever: epidemiological trends and controversies in treatment

Helena C Maltezou1* and Anna Papa2

Author Affiliations

1 Department for Interventions in Health-Care Facilities, Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3-5 Agrafon Street, Athens, 15123 Greece

2 Department of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

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BMC Medicine 2011, 9:131  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-131

Published: 8 December 2011

Abstract

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus has the widest geographic range of all tick-borne viruses and is endemic in more than 30 countries in Eurasia and Africa. Over the past decade, new foci have emerged or re-emerged in the Balkans and neighboring areas. Here we discuss the factors influencing CCHF incidence and focus on the main issue of the use of ribavirin for treating this infection. Given the dynamics of CCHF emergence in the past decade, development of new anti-viral drugs and a vaccine is urgently needed to treat and prevent this acute, life-threatening disease.