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WHO Reports Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Surge in Iraq

Author: Iqra Zafar
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WHO has recently reported a surge in Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever in Iraq with more than 200 positive cases alongside 27 deaths in 2022.

Iraq: World Health Organization (WHO) reported a surge in nosebleed fever cases aka Crimean-Conge Hemorrhagic fever.

Iraq health authorities have reported the total count of nosebleed cases has crossed 200 this year. As per the stats published by WHO since January 2022, 97 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported alongside 115 suspected cases. The UN health agency has also confirmed 27 casualties in the same year amidst the nose bleed fever outbreak in Iraq.

The condition is quite dangerous and has a 10-40% fatalities rate. The infection rate is relatively higher than recorded during the same period in 2021. The virus is quite alarming and is adding a significant burden on the already stretched healthcare system in the country.

 

Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever is a tick-borne disease that spreads through contact with the blood of infected animals. According to WHO, early disease symptoms include fever, body pain, headache, sore eyes, sore throat, brain fog, diarrhea, nausea, and profuse bleeding ultimately leading to death.

Mild disease symptoms can appear but the condition is self-limiting. However, in severe cases, patients may experience internal or external bleeding that can ultimately lead to death. Currently, there are no vaccines available to control the spread of the virus. Controlling the vector population (ticks) however, can help to limit the spread of viruses.

Addressing the situation, the governor of Baghdad, Mohammad Jaber Al-Atta added a joint working group to control the spread of this deadly virus. Improving hygiene standards and raising mass awareness regarding the spread of the virus are among the key roles they have to perform.

Dhi Qar region is growing as an epicenter of the disease with 29 positive cases and 6 deaths. “We have not yet reached the stage of an epidemic, but the infections are higher than last year,” Seif al-Badr, Health Ministry Spokesman, said at a news conference.

“The procedures adopted by the different authorities are not up to par, particularly with regards to unregulated slaughters,” Badr added. Authorities have begun the crackdown on slaughterhouses and instructed citizens to get the meat from licensed suppliers. Further, to control the spread Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa-al-Khadhimi has issued funds to eliminate the ticks from livestock through farm spraying campaigns.