An epidemic of blood-clotting fever is ravaging Iraqi citizens, and many are bleeding to death as a result. Pesticides have been used by health professionals around the country to kill blood-sucking ticks on cattle. The Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever or CCHF, which spreads from animals to people, has exacerbated the already dire situation in Iraq.

There have been 19 confirmed deaths in Iraq due to the virus, according to an AFP report from the World Health Organization (WHO). There have also been 111 confirmed instances of the virus in people. As many as 40% of those infected with CCHF will die, according to health specialists who have recognized the virus.

Nearly half of all cases of CCHF in Iraq are found in Dhi Qar province, a poor farming area in southern Iraq, says a health official. Health official Haidar Hantouche was reported by AFP as stating that “the number of cases documented is exceptional.”. “Hantouche said that cases in past years could be counted on his fingers.

CCHF happens to be a zoonotic illness spread by ticks that has a high fatality rate in humans, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH). Uncontrolled bleeding, severe fever, and vomiting have all been linked to it. According to the European CDC, it is the most common kind of viral tick-transmitted haemorrhagic fever and can be up to 30% deadly for those hospitalised.

Crimean hemorrhagic fever was the term given to the disease when it was first discovered in Crimea in 1944. In 1969, it was identified as the causative agent of sickness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, giving rise to the disease’s present name. According to the WHO, CCHF is present throughout Asia, the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.

There are several symptoms and indicators of CCHF:

  • Headache
  • A fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • a sore back
  • Osteoarthritis
  • bloating and cramping
  • Vomiting
  • The appearance of bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling hot 
  • Inflamed trachea
  • Spots of redness on the tongue.

It is carried by ticks and infects a wide range of species including agricultural animals as well as wild animals. According to the World Health Organization, animals get sick when they are bitten by infected ticks. Humans can get the virus by coming into touch with viraemic tissues of animals (tissues from which the virus has entered the circulation) that have been slaughtered or have been slaughtered recently.

Most cases have been reported among farmers, slaughterhouse employees, and veterinarians due to the fact that the virus is “mainly spread” by ticks on cattle, according to the WHO’s statement. As a result of contact with the blood, saliva, organs as well as other body fluid of infected patients “human-to-human transmission can occur,” it stated.

There is no widely accessible vaccination for the CCHF virus, whether for animal or human usage. ‘ Increasing people’s knowledge of risk factors and teaching them about preventative measures is the only approach to lower infection rates, the WHO asserted.

The most common therapy for CCHF in humans is a combination of supportive care and symptom management. Ribavirin, an antiviral medication, has been used successfully to treat CCHF infection. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) advises that “seroprevalence tests” be undertaken in people, wild animals, and domestic animals in order to quantify the amount of virus as assessed in blood serum.

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