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Turkey: 2020 Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

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  • Turkey: 2020 Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever


    Turkish authorities scramble for measures as another deadly disease emerges
    ISTANBUL Turkey
    Jun 11, 2020 1:33 pm GMT+3

    Just as Turkey tries to return to normal after its battle with the coronavirus, another danger lurks that threatens rural areas. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), a deadly disease usually confined to summer, is forcing authorities to adopt new measures to contain it. So far, it has claimed 15 lives across Turkey.

    The Health Ministry set up a board of scientists, which held its first meeting on Thursday, to determine what actions to take against CCHF. Chaired by Deputy Health Minister Emine Alp Meşe, the group discussed the virus' current situation and measures needed to control it ahead of Kurban Bayram, also known as Eid al-Adha. The Muslim holiday, which will be observed in late July this year, sees greater mobility for animals and close contact with people. As every Muslim who can afford to do so ought to slaughter a sheep and a cow, animal markets are set up all across the country for the sale of sacrificial beasts ahead of the holiday.

    CCHF, common in more than 30 countries, is prevalent in Turkey’s northern regions. The death rate from the fever is generally around 4%, while in some countries it reaches 80%. Turkey ties its success to strict measures, effective treatment methods and a surveillance system that tracks the prevalence of the disease.

    Authorities announced that the number of CCHF cases increased compared with 2019, and by June 10, 480 infections had been reported...