In Iraq, an unusually large outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), a tick-borne virus that has a mortality rate of almost 40%, has been reported.

Health officials say the number of cases is considerably higher compared to previous years. Since the beginning of 2022, Iraq has recorded 98 infections and 18 deaths, with the past week alone seeing half of the year’s total cases as well as a third of fatalities occurring in the past two weeks. This suggests an escalating pace of spread.

Three new cases of hemorrhagic fever have been confirmed by medical tests, according to Public Health Department official Hussein Riyad.

The total number of cases was 14, with three deaths, according to Riyad, who noted that “some of the patients infected worked as shepherds. One of the patients happens to be a neighbor of a butcher.”

Riyad also said that the Public Health Department is coming across obstacles while controlling this new disease due to the fact that other government agencies aren’t collaborating well. 

Since the beginning of this year [2022], Dhi Qar’s Public Health Department has reported  20 cases involving hemorrhagic fever in the governorate.

A butcher residing in the Al-Meshkhab district died of hemorrhagic fever on April 20, 2022, in Al-Najaf Governorate, which is located about 112 miles (180 kilometers) southwest of Baghdad.

A tick-borne virus causes Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, a widespread disease. There is a 10–40% fatality rate associated with outbreaks of serious and highly contagious hemorrhagic fever caused by the CCHF virus.

t is possible for the cycle of infection from tick to animal to tick to persist after an animal is infected by an infected tick. This is because the virus is capable of inhabiting its host for about a week. There are several tick genera capable of transmitting CCHF, but Hyalomma ticks are the most common.

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