Deadly hemorrhagic fever outbreak hits Iraq

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever has killed at least 18 people this year as health authorities warn of an increasing spread and inadequate government response.
Butchers wrestle with cattle in the Rashid district of Baghdad ahead of Eid al-Adha on Dec. 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Todd Frantom/Wikimedia Commons)

BAGHDAD - Iraq is suffering from an unusually large wave of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, a tick-born virus with a fatality rate of up to 40 percent.

Case numbers are significantly higher than in previous years, health officials say. Iraq has now confirmed a total of 98 infections and 18 deaths since the beginning of 2022 — with almost half of this year's cases and one-third of the deaths recorded within the past two weeks, suggesting an escalating pace of spread.

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