In a follow-up on the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever situation in Iraq, officials with the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the Director-General of Erbil Health reported on the first case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in the city of Erbil.
The Director General of Erbil Health, Dlovan Muhammad Saleh, said: “the first case of hemorrhagic fever was recorded in Erbil.” He added, “A 17-year-old is infected, and he is now under medical care.”
To date, Iraq has seen 56 CCHF cases through May 10. Twelve people have died so far this year in Iraq from Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and another 56 people are infected, while the number of infections is increasing despite the fact that the transmission of this disease had been limited in recent years in the country, official sources reported.
Spokesman, Saif Al-Badr said, “most of the patients are getting better”. More than half the cases have been reported in Dhi Qar governorate (29 cases and 6 deaths).
CCHF is transmitted through direct contact with an animal or through a tick,” Al-Badr explained, stressing the need for “butchers to commit to slaughtering at designated locations and to stay away from disorganized slaughter.”
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is a widespread disease caused by a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10–40%.
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. Although a number of tick genera are capable of becoming infected with CCHF virus, ticks of the genus Hyalomma are the principal vector.
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