What is Congo fever, which killed 27 people in Iraq?

A previous official report had reported a month ago of 12 deaths due to this hemorrhagic fever since the beginning of 2022.

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Transmission of the disease occurs “either through tick bites or through contact with blood or tissues of infected animals, during or immediately after slaughter,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Since the beginning of the year, 162 cases of haemorrhagic fever have been recorded, including 27 deaths. Half of those affected have now recovered”

“Since the beginning of the year, 162 cases of haemorrhagic fever have been recorded, including 27 deaths. Half of those affected have now recovered,” said Health Ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr, noting that the first death had been recorded in the Kurdistan Fall region in northern Iraq. .

The Ministry of Health is trying to “detect cases as early as possible”, assured Mr. Badr.

Death in 10 to 40% of cases

Many cases (61) have been identified in Dhi Qar, a poor and rural province in the south of the country where cattle, sheep and goats are raised, animals which are all intermediate hosts of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. (CHFC).

The authorities are hunting down slaughterhouses that do not respect hygiene protocols. Several provinces have banned all entry and exit of livestock from the region and have launched disinfection campaigns among the animals.

Disinfection campaigns have been carried out among farm animals.


Disinfection campaigns have been carried out among farm animals.

SHWAN NAWZAD / AFP

According to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, those most affected by hemorrhagic fever are cattle breeders as well as slaughterhouse workers.

The virus causes death in 10 to 40% of cases. Between humans, the transmission of the disease “can occur following direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or biological fluids of infected subjects”, according to the WHO.

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