We developed a molecular diagnostic method for detection of RNA virus based on padlock probes and colorimetric readout. The feasibility of our approach was demonstrated by using detection of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus as a model. Compared with conventional PCR-based methods, our approach does not require advanced equipment, involves easier assay design, and has a sensitivity of 103 viral copies/ml. By using a cocktail of padlock probes, synthetic templates representing different viral strain variants could be detected. We analyzed 34 CCHF patient samples, and all patients were correctly diagnosed when the results were compared to those of the current real-time PCR method. This is the first time that highly specific padlock probes have been applied to detection of a highly variable target sequence typical of RNA viruses.