Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne viral disease mainly affecting pastoralists who come in contact with animals infested with Hyalomma ticks, which are the key vectors of CCHF virus (CCHFV).
CCHFV has been detected among these ticks in parts of North Eastern Kenya. This study aimed to identify acute cases of CCHF, and to determine the extent of previous exposure to CCHFV in an outpatient population attending Sangailu and Ijara health centers, Ijara District, North Eastern Kenya, presenting with acute febrile illnesses. A total of 517 human serum samples were collected from these patients. The samples were screened for the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to CCHF using CCCHF-IgG and IgM ELISA test kits. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to investigate the risk factors associated with evidence of exposure to CCHFV. A single patient tested positive for anti-CCHF IgM, while 96 were positive for anti-CCHF IgG. The seroprevalence of CCHFV was 23% in Sangailu and 14% in Ijara. Most exposed persons were aged 40–49 years. The likelihood of exposure was highest among farmers (29%). Age, location, and contact with donkeys were significantly associated with exposure to CCHFV. Acute CCHFV infections could be occurring without being detected in this population. This study confirms human exposure to CCHF virus in Ijara District, Kenya, and
identifies several significant risk factors associated with exposure to CCHFV.