Since January this year, over 120 persons in Iraq have been diagnosed with ‘nose-bleed fever,’ also known as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. According to estimates, 19 individuals have died due to the deadly tick-borne illness, and health experts in the country have issued a warning because the sickness is spreading at an unprecedented rate.
Patients are suffering from significant hemorrhaging as a result of the condition. According to reports, almost half of this year’s illnesses and one-third of the deaths have occurred in the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has set aside one billion dinars for spraying pesticides on animal farms to eradicate host ticks, particularly in the southern province of Dhi Qar. According to reports, this area is the current hub of the outbreak, with more than half of recent cases originating there.
According to Iraq’s agricultural ministry, pesticides have also been distributed to veterinary clinics, which encourages consumers to buy meat only from certified providers.
According to Ahmed Zouiten, the WHO’s representative in Iraq, the increase in nose-bleed fever could partly be attributed to the country’s failure to complete pesticide-spraying programs in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.