Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Iraq
15 Jun 2022
The World Health Organization reports continued transmission of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Iraq. From 1 January 2022 to 22 May 2022, there have been 212 cases, including 27 deaths. Cases have been recorded from across the country, including Babylon, Baghdad Karkh, Baghdad-Rusafa, Basrah, Diwaniya, Karbala, Kirkuk, Najaf, Missan, Muthanna, Nineveh and Wassit Governorates.
CCHF is an infection spread by tick bites that can cause a severe viral illness accompanied by bleeding. It is found in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern/Southern Europe.
Advice for Travellers
CCHF is extremely rare in travellers. The risk is higher if you are travelling to an area where the infection occurs and will be:
- at increased risk of tick bites, for example whilst camping, hiking, visiting farms or animal sanctuaries
- involved in the care or slaughter of animals
- a healthcare worker who may be exposed to infected patients
If you are travelling to a high risk area, you need to be aware of the disease and how to prevent becoming infected by:
- avoiding tick-bites
- following appropriate infection control procedures if you are working in a health care setting
- wearing gloves and other protective clothing if you are involved in the care or slaughter of animals.
There is no vaccine available for use against CCHF in the UK.
See the Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever page for further information.