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Haemorrhagic fever kills 20 in Turkey this year

Written by: Staff

GENEVA, Aug 9: A tick-borne haemorrhagic fever has killed 20 people among 242 confirmed cases in Turkey this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

The severe disease, known as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, mainly strikes farm and slaughterhouse workers in the livestock industry who come in contact with the virus.

Turkey's Health Ministry has reported most of the recent cases in six northeastern provinces in the Black Sea and Central Anatolia region, the UN agency said in a statement yesterday.

''One of the newly reported fatal cases was a health worker who acquired the infection while treating Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever cases in Corum province,'' the WHO said.

Control measures including disease surveillance among animals and humans continued, it said.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an agency of the European Union, said no cases had been reported from popular tourist resorts along the Mediterranean coast.

Infection normally occurs through the bite of infected ticks or through direct contact with infected blood and tissue from livestock. Human to human transmission, through exposure to contaminated blood, is more rare.

There is no vaccine against the disease, which causes dizziness, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting. A body rash and bleeding from the bowels and gums, often accompanied by hepatitis and pulmonary failure, follow in severe cases.

The mortality rate can reach 30 per cent from the disease, first identified in Crimea in 1944 and later in the Congo.


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