THE TICK-BORN VIRUS IS CRAWLING INTO EUROPE
TROPIC DISEASE WITH NO MERCY
There is a game we will never be good in. There is a player we will never defeat completely. There is a devil hidden in tiny crystals which attack our immune system and let us struggle with pain and suffering. The virus. Enough invisible, enough small and enough evil to break our world into pieces and to celebrate the failure of homo sapiens intelligence.
The current year is not only affected by blood of wars and terrorism but also by natural caused catastrophe and strange diseases which are coming into our tired lands. It seems that every new day is bringing a new emerging infection with unknown outcomes. The whole mankind is challenging the nature and nature is challenging back. This is a real asymmetric war, we do not know who or what we need to fight and how.
Warm and humid September in Europe is not only interesting for many political and sport happenings around but also for epidemic reasons. Spain is a host of aggressive pathogen from the rain forests. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever arrived on our ground, silently and confidently, killing one 62-year-old man in Madrid. He infected the health staff so the 2 people are isolated and another 200 are under constant observation. The problem is not only the dead man who was the vector but the fact that not many are informed and educated about this virus so the chances for the epidemic are getting bigger. The information about the virus in Europe are coming from many countries which believe they detected the CCHF. The Spanish Ministry of Health report states, based on the death of 62-year old Raul states the following : “Given the repeated appearance of the virus since 2010 in ticks captured in a zone of Extremadura, and the detection in September 2016 of a human case infected after exposure to a tick and a second case of infection in a nurse after close contact with the previous case in Madrid, it is relevant to update the risk assessment of this disease in our country after the one held in 2011.”
How this virus came into Europe? Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a serious viral disease what is caused by so called tick-borne virus, from the family Bunyaviridae, with specific Nairovirus genus. The virus is jumping to the humans by the bites of the infected ticks,mostly known as Hyalomma marginatum tick. The transmission is also possible by the contact with the infected blood,fluids or touching the ticks as hosts. The virus was discovered in certain geographic areas like Africa, Balkans, Asia and the Middle East but according to the latest data, the virus is making a progress into the Western Europe while the climate changes become the number one reason for the turbulence in the global ecosystem.Experts claim that migratory birds bring the infected ticks into the non-endemic regions and also the livestock and absence of hygienic standards in transportation of farm animals are helping the CCHF to get more powerful in its lethal mission.
The WHO doctors warn that the fatality rate goes up to 40% but it is said that is about 30% and this scary statistic puts this virus into one of the the world deadliest top ten microbes.The disease was discovered in 1944 in the Crimea and confirmed later in Africa,Congo, in 1969 so the name was combined. There is no treatment for this disease beside the supportive therapy so the virus is still a big mystery for the science.
The incubation period can be three and sometimes even nine days but the symptoms could be messed up with another hemorrhagic fever without antigen detection, serum neutralization or simply virus isolation :”Onset of symptoms is sudden, with fever, myalgia, (muscle ache), dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes and photophobia (sensitivity to light). There may be nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat early on, followed by sharp mood swings and confusion. After two to four days, the agitation may be replaced by sleepiness, depression and lassitude, and the abdominal pain may localize to the upper right quadrant, with detectable hepatomegaly (liver enlargement).Other clinical signs include tachycardia (fast heart rate), lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes), and a petechial rash (a rash caused by bleeding into the skin) on internal mucosal surfaces, such as in the mouth and throat, and on the skin. The petechiae may give way to larger rashes called ecchymoses, and other haemorrhagic phenomena. There is usually evidence of hepatitis, and severely ill patients may experience rapid kidney deterioration, sudden liver failure or pulmonary failure after the fifth day of illness.”
In the poor countries, laboratories have no modern equipment for virus detection and the confusion about the origin of the microbe can last for days and it definitely reduces the real chances for possible recovery. The controversial Ribavirin is the only antiviral drug used in the treatment but it is still unclear is it really helpful or rather unproductive in the battle against the CCHF virus.
The debate about the success of this virus in Europe is connected with the ecological issues as well. We are facing with the global warming and it is something worth of all epidemic analyzes.The places known to be cold are transferring into the boiling pots what enables the majority of viruses good habitat. The lack of sanitary conditions and economical pressure to decrease the costs also make the ground for the free accommodation for the viruses which are only choosing the best host in the final offer.
One of the famous science writers, Richard Preston wrote in his legendary book “The Hot Zone” that we are creators of the wars with the viruses. He believes that the global population has attacked the Earth, destroying other living beings and nature and that this Planet is only defending itself, sending its own invisible, silent army: bugs from the tropic forests. It is obvious that we awakened Ebola while we tried to deforest all we can. The CCHF is also one of the monsters brought up from the darkness into the light, through our corporation greed and ecological collapse covered by the profit of some interest group.
The scandalous titles in the media about the CCHF virus in Europe should be replaced with the real details and objective references. Accusing the nature for the bad deeds of the mankind is the same as accusing the victim for the self defense. This requires the deeper answer and one solid wind of change for all. We cant cure the disease if we do not remove the indicators or we will be trapped forever in the same magic circle, only counting the new viruses and even not being able to deal with old one.
We must become responsible for ourselves or we will be punished as the flock which never found the right way to the home.This Earth is our home.