Scientists have speculated that the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) could find its way to the UK "through our ticks, at some point".

Last week, James Wood, head of veterinary medicine at Cambridge University, confirmed fears that the disease - found in territories such as Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia - could soon be found in Britain.

Climate change, reportedly, is aiding the spread of the virus as creatures move to new territories.

In documented outbreaks of CCHF, fatality rates in hospitalised patients ranged from nine percent to as high as 50 percent.

The long-term effects of CCHF infection have not been studied well enough in survivors to determine whether or not specific complications exist. However, recovery is slow.

An unpleasant rash - which can affect three different parts of the body - is a common symptom of the fatal virus Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF).

The bug is sweeping through Europe, having already killed people in Iraq, Pakistan and Namibia, and last week experts said it is "highly likely" there could soon be cases in the UK.

It is caused by bleeding in these areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

WHO's website states: "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."

Petechiae are red dots on the skin, caused by broken blood vessels under the skin.

Nine other symptoms of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever 

  • Fever
  • Myalgia (muscle ache)
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Backache
  • Headache
  • Sore eyes
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Nausea

Human-to-human transmission can occur resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons.

Animals become infected by the bite of infected ticks and the virus remains in their bloodstream for about one week after infection, allowing the tick-animal-tick cycle to continue when another tick bites.

WHO's website adds: "It is difficult to prevent or control CCHF infection in animals and ticks as the tick-animal-tick cycle usually goes unnoticed and the infection in domestic animals is usually not apparent.

"Furthermore, the tick vectors are numerous and widespread, so tick control with acaricides (chemicals intended to kill ticks) is only a realistic option for well-managed livestock production facilities."