A study coordinated by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality has detected the presence of ticks infected by the virus that causes hemorrhagic fever Crimean-Congo in several areas of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Castilla y León. Despite the finding, ensure that the risk of transmission to humans in Spain remains low, public eldigitalcastilla-la mancha.is.
“There is no kind of alarm, we cannot rule out that it appears some isolated case of the disease but the risk is very low,” he assured the director-general of Public Health of the Ministry, Elena Andradas, after the results presented this Thursday to the autonomous communities in the Public Health Commission, a dependent organ of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (SNS).
The research, conducted in collaboration with the four communities affected, the Health Institute Carlos III and the Ministry of Agriculture, was based on an analysis of 9,000 ticks collected from wild animals and domestic livestock, in the wake of the first two indigenous cases of this infectious disease detected in Spain in September 2016, of which one died.
In total, we have identified the presence of the virus of Crimean-Congo at about 300 ticks of the genus ‘Hyalomma’, which would be equivalent to just three percent of all samples analyzed, 7 of the 11 counties studied, all of them near to the area of Avila where it was able to produce the first spread in human in the past year.
In addition, all parasite-infected were extracted from wild animals, especially deer, but also detected in fallow deer, wild boar and mouflon.
The show were taken between September 2016 and January of this year, and were subsequently analyzed by the National Center of Microbiology, belonging to the Carlos III.
In fact, this analysis suggests that around 90 per cent of the ticks with the virus could have been infected through the animal from which they were learned, which previously would have come through another tick, explained Ricardo Molina, head of the Laboratory of Medical Entomology of the National Center of Microbiology and one of the authors of the study.
As to the origin of the virus, which was first detected in Spain in 2010 in a few ticks captured in the province of Cáceres, it is believed that it could have arrived via migratory birds from the north of Africa, where the disease is endemic.
The virus persists from then on the Peninsula thanks to the presence of several species of tick in the genus ‘Hyalomma’, one of the main vectors of the disease, whose habitat is most common in the centre and southwest of the country.
In fact, although the study has focused on some regions, concrete is not ruled out that there could be more ticks with the virus in other areas, according to Molina, there intending to make a work more extensive than scan also ticks present in soil or vegetation.
Up to the time the National Center of Microbiology had analyzed about a thousand ticks in these and other communities in search of the virus but had only been detected in 27 specimens, all of them in Extremadura.
Published in eldigitalcastilla-la mancha.is.