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Deadly eye-bleeding virus which kills up to a third of all patients reaches Spain after man hospitalised

A DEADLY virus that kills 30 per cent of those it infects by making them bleed from the eyes has reached Spain after a man was hospitalised last week.

The man in the city of Leon, in Spain’s North West, was diagnosed with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) after being bitten by a tick.

Symptoms of CCHF include bleeding from the eyes and fever

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Symptoms of CCHF include bleeding from the eyes and feverCredit: Getty
The virus is usually carried by ticks and passed to humans through bites

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The virus is usually carried by ticks and passed to humans through bitesCredit: Getty

The unnamed patient was hospitalised last week in Leon before being airlifted to another hospital by the Ministry of Defence on Thursday.

Spanish authorities said that he “remains in a stable condition, despite the clinical severity that this pathology implies.”

According to the WHO, the mortality rate for CCHF is 30 per cent.

Symptoms include fever, aches, dizziness, mood swings, confusion and bleeding, particularly of the eyes and on the skin.

Sign of infection often present suddenly and many of those who die of the virus do so within two weeks of diagnosis.

It was first discovered in Crimea in 1944 and is endemic in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans.

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Cases are rare in Northern Europe with only 3 cases in Spain since 2011.

In March, a British woman was diagnosed with CCHF, the UK’s fourth case since 2012.

She was treated at the Royal Free in London.

At the time, Dr Susan Hopkins, the UK Health Security Agency’s chief medical advisor. said that the virus “does not spread easily between people and the overall risk to the public is very low.”

The virus is usually carried by ticks and livestock and passed to humans through bites.

It can be transmitted between people through infected blood or bodily fluid.




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