the conclusion of the investigation is troubling

Health and biotechnology researchers from the Research Institute of Game Resources (IREC-CSIC, UCLM and JCCM) first discovered Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in several ticks on the outskirts of Ponferrada in the province of Leon.

The investigation began after the tragic death in 2022 of 51-year-old agent Seprona, who lived in Ponferrada. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers this disease one of the most alarming due to its high mortality rate and lack of effective vaccines.

To begin their study, study participants walked 30 kilometers around the outskirts of Ponferrada, collecting ticks using cotton blankets to identify species that may be involved in local transmission of the virus.

Tick ​​samples, 95 in total, were submitted to the laboratory for morphological identification and RNA analysis to assess the prevalence of the virus. As a result, 10 ticks from the total sample tested positive for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, making this one of the highest infection rates ever recorded in a free-living foraging tick.

These results, as explained by IREC, suggest the need to take into account that the disease virus may be spreading to north-west Spain.

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