A tick-borne virus has killed 31 people in Iraq in the last several months, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

To date this year, there have been 170 confirmed cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF).

Infected are 15 of the country’s 18 provinces. Most confirmed cases are in Dhi Qar, which is 350 kilometers south of Baghdad. There are 65 confirmed cases there.

Iraq has been contaminated since the 1970s. One or two deaths are reported in as many as 20 cases each year.

Unprecedented sickness rates in Iraq have been attributed by health officials to insufficient regulation of animal breeding and slaughter.

Iraqi authorities have sprayed animals and educated the public to combat the disease since it first appeared.

The government allocated $700,000 late last month to buy insecticides in order to combat the sickness.

Since its discovery in 1979, the Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has spread throughout the region. 30 percent of people who contact the virus die as a result of it being transmitted through tick bites. secretions, organs, and other bodily fluids can also spread the disease if they are contaminated.

The disease is endemic in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkans. There are no vaccinations for humans or animals.

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