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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in Iraq

26 Aug 2022

The World Health Organization reports continued transmission of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Iraq. There were 287 confirmed cases (including 52 deaths) of CCHF across the country between 1 January 2022 and 7 August 2022.

Areas reporting cases are: Thiqar (122), Misan (32 cases), Babil (24 cases), Wasit (24 cases), Mutana (18 cases), Diwania (11 cases), Basra (11 cases), Baghdad-Kerkh (10 cases), Kerbala (8 cases), Baghdad-Rusafa (7 cases), Ninewa (4 cases), Erbil (3 cases), Najaf (3 cases), Kirkuk (3 cases), Dyalah (2 cases), Duhok (2 cases), Saladin (2 cases), Anbar (1 case).

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.