Ahmedabad: Two people have died of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Rajasthan, whereas the disease has taken the life of three in Gujarat. Commonly known as Congo fever, it has sent shockwaves as 17 are confirmed to have Congo fever in Gujarat and three have tested positive in Rajasthan.

The Rajasthan health department has sent over 100 samples for testing to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.  

Reportedly, health minister Raghu Sharma said that two persons – a woman from Jodhpur and a man from Jaisalmer – died of Congo fever.

The main symptoms of the fatal disease are fever, body ache and vomiting. But as there are no specific symptoms it is difficult to detect. Moreover there are limited options  for treatment of this fever.

What is Congo fever?

The Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, also known as CCHF or Congo fever, is caused by tick-borne Nairovirus. It is prevalent widely in Africa, the Balkans, West Asia and other parts of the continent.

The disease is transmitted either through the bite of a tick, or contact with blood or tissues of infected animals or humans. The death rate is from 5% to 80%.

It was first identified in Crimea, at the end of World War II. Though it was initially named Crimean haemorrhagic fever, later it was traced to Democratic Republic of Congo and then was named CCHF.

Congo fever in India

According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, out of 643 human samples, nine were found to be positive. The nine people were from Kerala and Pondicherry. The study also highlighted chances of the disease among livestock in Maharashtra. The report was published in 1976.

But the case of haemorrhagic manifestations was reported for the first time in Ahmadabad in 2011.


Fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain, stiffness, backache, headache, sore eyes, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and sore throat, sharp mood swings and confusion are the symptoms of Congo fever.

As days progress, people suffering from Congo fever can also face sleeplessness and depression, fast heart rate, enlarged lymph nodes and rashes.