Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever: These days, Iraq is witnessing a peculiar type of fever which is caused by blood sucking ticks that contain a virus.
The virus is spread from animals to humans. And due to this, cows are being sprayed with pesticides where health workers specifically target blood sucking ticks responsible to cause a deadly fever in people.
The name of the fever is Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever which spreads by a virus. It has become quite common in Iraq. The virus spreads from animals to humans. As per WHO, the country has witnessed as many as 19 deaths among 111 infected people.
The sad part is that there is no vaccine against the virus which can cause severe bleeding episodes both externally and internally. In most cases, the bleeding happens from the nose. The report suggests that it has caused deaths in as many as two-fifth cases.
This is what a health official has to say, “The number of cases recorded is unprecedented,” said Haidar Hantouche, a health official in Dhi Qar province.
The particular region of Iraq where most of these cases are detected happens to be a poor farming region in Southern Iraq. As per an official, these cases were earlier counted on fingers. But now, there is a surge in the number of cases.
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever is caused by ticks that carry virus. In other words, these ticks are the host of the virus.
As these ticks suck blood of wild animals, they can be found residing on both farmed and wild animals like sheep, goats, cattle and buffallow. All of them are quite frequently found in Dhi Qar (Iraq).
Tick Bites Infection Cause Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever
The cases seem to be originating from a village in Iraq called Al-Bujari where a team of health workers have the job to disinfect animals. Unfortunately, this was the same house where a woman was found infected with this virus.
After workers know this, they come wearing masks and kits and spray the animal with pesticides.
While working, a health worker soon detects ticks that have fallen from the cow and are collected in a container. As per WHO, animals get the infection only after the bite of these ticks. It’s because these ticks are carrying virus with them.
As the ticks bite an animal, the virus goes into the blood stream of the animal and it gets infected with the virus.
Now, the question is how it gets transmitted to humans. Well, it all happens after the CCHF virus gets through either by the bite of ticks or by maintaining contact with an infected animal, tissues or blood right after slaughter.
Although, the number of cases with Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) are nothing as compared to COVID-19, the rising number of cases in Iraq are worrying health officials in Iraq.
Slaughterhouses On Surveillance
After the cases of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) are on the rise, it has been detected that the virus is mainly transmitted by ticks via cattle or livestock. This is why most cases are detected in people who work in slaughterhouse or any such areas.
As it looks obvious, human to human transmission is also possible which can happen by getting close contacts with an infected person. It can also happen through blood, secretions, or fluid of an infected person.
The virus is not only responsible to cause severe bleeding but also vomiting and fever.
Looking at the number of cases, there has been a fear among Muslims, especially at the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival in July. The festival embarks people to feed their guests with traditionally slaughtered animal.
The report also suggests that most of the infected cases have been found among people aged around 33 years.