Man infected with Congo fever in Kirkuk died – directorate

A general view of Kirkuk city

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — A 47-year-old man who was infected with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Kirkuk province died on Friday, authorities said.

“The person who was registered as the first case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever one day before Eid al-Fitr died today,” the directorate of health in Kirkuk said in a statement.

On May 1, the Iraqi news agency reported that the first case of the disease was recorded in Kirkuk.

The severe disease mainly strikes farm and slaughterhouse workers. The disease normally occurs through bites from infected ticks or from direct contact with infected blood and tissue from livestock. Human to human transmission, through exposure to contaminated blood, is more rare.

The disease has been endemic to Iraq since 1979, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). At times, small outbreaks have been reported, with the last outbreak happening in 2021 with 18 cases confirmed in Thi-qar and Ninawa Governorates.

Iraq had recorded at least 24 cases of the disease at of May 1, according to general director of health in the Iraqi health ministry Riadh al-Halfi.

There is no vaccine against the disease, which causes dizziness, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting. A body rash and bleeding from the bowels and gums, often accompanied by hepatitis and pulmonary failure, follow in severe cases.

According to the World Health organisation, CCHF can be treated but recovery is slow. If treatment is not provided in time, death can occur in the second week of illness.

The mortality rate can reach 30 percent from the disease, which was first identified in Crimea in 1944 and later appeared in Congo, according to Reuters.

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