CCHF case in NW region, Q fever in Basque cave climbers

The first case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in 2021 was confirmed last month in a farmer ‘with recent exposure to tick bites’. The man lives in Castilla y Leon and is said to be in a stable condition. CCHF was first reported in Spain in 2016 (Ávila province in Castilla y León). In March, the ECDC published an updated map showing the current known distribution of the CCHF vector, the Hyalomma spp. tick, in the region, and a separate map for the tick vector found most often in Spain. Read more. To the NE, the Baltzola caves in the Basque region have been closed while investigations take place into five cases of Q fever diagnosed since December – four were cave climbers. The caves are a popular training site for spelunkers and a favourite for family day trips. Read more

Advice for travellers

CCHF virus is transmitted to people either directly by tick bites or through contact with infected animal blood or tissues during and immediately after slaughter. The majority of cases have occurred in people involved in the livestock industry, so infection is a low risk to travellers who take insect/arachnid bite precautions. Read more about the virus.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.