Warning on Tick-Borne Viral Fever

The disease is severe in infected humans with a mortality rate of 10–40%.The disease is severe in infected humans with a mortality rate of 10–40%.

The Health Ministry’s Communicable Diseases Center has urged the public to only buy meat products approved by Iran’s Veterinarian Organization so as to be safe from the life-threatening Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) that often breaks out in the hot seasons.   

CCHF is a widespread tick-borne viral disease that is endemic in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia.

It is a zoonotic disease carried by several domestic and wild animals. While clinical disease is rare in infected animals, it is severe in infected humans, with a mortality rate of 10–40%. Outbreaks of illness are usually attributed to Hyalomma tick bites and contact with infected animals or people.

Based on statistics from the Communicable Diseases Center, the fever took three lives in Iran last year, ISNA reported.

Mohammad Mehdi Guya, head of the center, strongly advised against buying meat at places like roadsides and urged people to check IVO’s endorsement on meat products before making purchases.

CCHF occurs most frequently among agricultural workers, following the bite of an infected tick, and to a lesser extent among slaughterhouse workers exposed to the blood and tissues of infected livestock. Medical personnel are also at risk through contact with the body fluids of infected persons.

According to the official, the people at greatest risk are those in close contact with livestock, butchers, housewives who buy and chop meat and medical staff.

“The disease has no vaccine and the best measure is to prevent it by practicing hygiene.”

Guya advised villagers to avoid removing the ticks from livestock, wear separate clothing when in contact with domestic animals and make sure they thoroughly wash their hands and faces.

He advised people who visit rural areas to avoid touching animals.

The disease is treatable with medications if diagnosed in time through laboratory tests and medicine is available at all medical science universities.

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