Congo fever death toll in Iraq rises to 23: health ministry

A health official is seen in International Fair ground, which has been temporarily turned into a hospital in fighting against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Baghdad, Iraq on 18 July, 2020. (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s ministry of health said Saturday death toll from Congo fever in the country rose to 23. 

The health ministry said as many as 136 cases of the severe disease had been recorded in the country.

“Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of the disease in all of Iraq’s governorates,” the ministry said in a statement, according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

“The number of infected people has increased due to incomplete compliance of people to the guidelines,” it said.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever causes severe haemorrhaging, with people usually catching it through contact with the blood of infected animals, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease has a fatality rate of between 10 and 40 percent of all cases.

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 Dhi Qar and Nineveh provinces.

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