Deadly eye-bleeding virus ‘highly likely’ to reach UK as cases multiply across Europe, experts warn

Doctors warn that the UK could be hit by a new killer disease causing bleeding in the eyes.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a deadly tick-borne virus, endemic in places with warmer climates such as Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is likely to reach the UK due to global warming


Global warming is likely to bring Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic disease to the UKCredit: Getty

Global warming is causing scientists to worry that the disease may spread out of the usual territory, and could even reach countries such as Britain and France.

Seven cases, including three deaths, were reported between 2016 and August 2022 in Spain.

Experts warned that it was “highly probable” that the disease would soon arrive in Britain during a meeting of Parliament’s Science, Innovation and Technology Committee last week.

Professor James Wood from the University of Cambridge, who is head of veterinary medical, stated that CCHF might travel to Britain through “our ticks” at some stage.

The disease kills up to 40 per cent of infected people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

CCHF symptoms include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, light sensitivity and vomiting and it can lead to organ failure and internal bleeding.

The WHO listed CCHF as one of nine “priority diseases” that pose the biggest threat to public health in May.

James, the professor who spoke at that hearing, warned against other diseases emerging.

Other infections can also be transmitted by mosquitoes
As Rift Valley virus, which may be the next to appear,” explained he.

Last month, a report revealed that disease-ridden mosquitoes carrying Rift Valley virus and other diseases were present in 26 European nations.

On the watchlist are dengue fever (chikungunya), yellow fever, zika, west Nile disease and chikungunya.

What are symptoms of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever?

The following symptoms are associated with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic disease:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Neck Pain and Stiffness
  • Backache
  • Headache
  • Eyes that are sore
  • Dizziness
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • A pain in the abdominal area
  • Itchy throat


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