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Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic Fever in Iraq

07 Jul 2023

There have been 289 cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) reported in Iraq to date; 41 of these have been fatal, according to media. The greatest number of cases occurred in Dhi Qar governorate (73 cases and 10 deaths), Basra (47 cases and 7 deaths) and Baghdad (31 cases and 5 deaths). Factors associated with this increase in case numbers include illegal slaughter of animals, poor quality abattoirs and poor vector control.

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.