• Friday, 21 June 2024

Outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever in Iraq: 50 Cases Reported, Eight Fatalities

Outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever in Iraq: 50 Cases Reported, Eight Fatalities

Iraq is currently grappling with an outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), with at least 50 cases reported nationwide. The virus has claimed eight lives, including one in the Kurdistan Region.

Dr. Saman Barzanji, Health Minister of the Kurdistan Region, confirmed the emergence of two cases in the region on Wednesday. One of these cases has resulted in death. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has promptly responded by urging citizens to adhere to protective guidelines to mitigate the spread of the virus.

In an effort to curb the outbreak, the KRG's Agriculture Ministry unveiled six preventive measures on Tuesday. These include a strict prohibition on animal slaughters in public spaces and along roadsides, a common practice that poses a high risk of virus transmission.

Dr. Barzanji emphasized that during the summer months, efforts to control communicable diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and Congo fever will be intensified. The Ministry of Health is mobilizing resources to prevent further spread of CCHF and to manage the current cases effectively.

CCHF is a severe viral disease transmitted to humans via ticks carrying the virus. While animals infected by these ticks typically do not show symptoms, humans can contract the virus through direct contact with the blood of infected animals, especially during slaughter. Symptoms in humans generally manifest within three to seven days, marked by high fever and generalized body pain, particularly in the back and neck.

The Kurdistan Regional Government's proactive stance includes educating the public on the risks associated with CCHF and the importance of adhering to safety measures. Citizens are advised to avoid contact with animals in areas where the virus is prevalent and to follow the guidelines issued by health authorities.

The outbreak has spread to several provinces in central and southern Iraq, prompting a nationwide alert and coordinated response efforts to contain the disease. Health officials continue to monitor the situation closely, aiming to prevent further fatalities and control the spread of the fever.