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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 14  |  Page No.: 2681 - 2684

Tick Borne Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever in Fars Province, Southern Iran: Epidemiologic Characteristics and Vector Surveillance

Fakoorziba, M.R., M. Neghab, H. Alipour and M.D.Moemenbellah-Fard    

Abstract: Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is an acute fatal viral infection caused by a virus from Bunyaviridae family, genus Nairovirus. The virus has been isolated from at least 31 species of ticks: among them Hyalomma species are the most important vectors. Geographically, CCHF is a widespread viral infection. Its mortality rate in Iran has been estimated to be 29.6 and 11.9% in 1999 and 2000, respectively. The majority of CCHF cases could be prevented. However, in order to identify and prioritize areas for prevention, to the best of authors` knowledge to date, no systematic study has been carried out in Fars province, Iran, to assess the extent, frequency and major outcomes of this fatal infection. The current descriptive retrospective case series study was, therefore, undertaken to address some of these issues. Data on CCHF cases for a period of four years (2001-4) were collected from different official sources in Iran. Data were categorized and analyzed by SPSS software, version 13/5. Gender, age, occupation, seasonal distribution and outcome of the disease were considered in data analysis. A total of 45 cases had been registered during the study period of which 29 were suspected and 16 were confirmed cases. CCHF was more common in men (85.5%) than in women (14.5%). Similarly, the disease was more prevalent in the 20-29 years old age group (37.5%). Nineteen cases (42%) resulted in death. Seasonal distribution of the infection revealed that it was more common in spring (37.5%). Additionally, 38% of the CCHF cases occurred among butchers, slaughterhouse workers, farmers and shepherds. The case fatality rates for the suspected and confirmed cases were 55.1 and 18.75%, respectively. Data gathered from different areas of Fars province showed that out of the 18 species identified to be the potential vectors of CCHF, 13 exist in this geographical area. In conclusion, the observation that butchers, slaughterhouse workers, farmers and shepherds form the most commonly affected occupations, indicate areas where preventive interventions, in particular health education efforts, might be usefully targeted.

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