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Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Risk Factors, and Seroprevalence in Rural Georgian Villages with Known Transmission in 2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    27336731
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC4918973
  • Description:
    In 2014 the highest annual case count of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) was detected in Georgia since surveillance began in 2009. CCHF is a high-fatality hemorrhagic syndrome transmitted by infected ticks and animal blood. In response to this immediate public health threat, we assessed CCHF risk factors, seroprevalence, and CCHF-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices in the 12 rural villages reporting a 2014 CCHF case, to inform CCHF prevention and control measures. Households were randomly selected for interviewing and serum sample collection. Data were weighted by non-response and gender; percentages reflect weighting. Among 618 respondents, median age was 54.8 years (IQR: 26.5, range: 18.6-101.4); 215 (48.8%) were male. Most (91.5%) participants reported ≥1 CCHF high-risk activity. Of 389 participants with tick exposure, 286 (46.7%) participants handled ticks bare-handed; 65/216 (29.7%) knew the risk. Of 605 respondents, 355 (57.9%) reported animal blood exposure; 32/281 (12.7%) knew the risk. Of 612 responding, 184 (28.8%) knew protective measures against CCHF and tick exposures, but only 54.3% employed the measures. Of 435 serum samples collected, 12 were anti-CCHF IgG positive, indicating a weighted 3.0% seroprevalence. Most (66.7%) seropositive subjects reported tick exposure. In these villages, CCHF risk factors are prevalent, while CCHF-related knowledge and preventive practices are limited; these findings are critical to informing public health interventions to effectively control and prevent ongoing CCHF transmission. Additionally, CCHF seroprevalence is higher than previously detected (0.03%), highlighting the importance of this disease in the South Caucuses and in supporting ongoing regional investigations.

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