Important warnings from the expert against the danger of ticks

The staff of the community health center affiliated with Kemah District State Hospital provided training and information on the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) to the employees of the Salkım-Ser Company in the village of Özdamar and the citizens living in the village Kerer live.

Health teams issued a warning with the slogan “Don’t underestimate the tick, don’t neglect the precaution” and provided the following information:

“Crimea-Congo hemorrhagic fever, caused by a virus belonging to the Nairovirus group of the Bunyaviridae family, carried by ticks, is a zoonosis (of animals). It is an infectious disease that is transmitted to humans.

CCHF was first described in Tajikistan in the 12th century. The disease has been described by the presence of blood in the urine, saliva, rectum and abdominal cavity after being attached to humans by ticks, and widespread bleeding throughout the body. In 1944-1945 he was seen among Soviet soldiers, mainly helping to collect crops in the western Crimean steppes of the Crimean region of Russia. The disease is called Crimean hemorrhagic fever. In 1956, the Congo virus was discovered in a patient with a fever in Zaire. In 1969, Congo virus and Crimean hemorrhagic fever viruses were determined to be the same virus and the disease was renamed Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever.

The disease first attracted attention in our country in 2002 and the final diagnosis was made in 2003. CCHF cases are seen in our country in spring and summer, starting with the activation of ticks, the major infectious agents of the disease. The disease is seen in our country in harmony with the habitats of the contagious tick species. Cases of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, which first attracted attention in and around Tokat province, are mainly concentrated in northern Central Anatolia, the Central Black Sea and northern Eastern Anatolia.

The causative agent is the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, a single-stranded RNA virus from the Nairovirus group of the Bunyaviridae family. The disease is transmitted in our country as a result of the attachment of the tick that carries or comes into contact with the main pathogen. In our country, Hyalomma marginatum is the most important tick species that infects the disease. In addition, the disease can be transmitted as a result of unprotected contact with blood, tissue, body parts of animals or sick people in the viraemic period.

The incubation period is usually 1-3 days, up to 9 days after attachment of the tick. 5-6 days after contact with infected blood, body fluids and other tissues; maximum 13 days.
Supportive treatment options are the basis of treating the disease. Currently, there is no proven vaccine or drug-specific drug for disease prevention. Research into developing vaccines against the disease continues in our country.

Research into the control of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is carried out by our ministry within a programme. Since taking personal protective measures is paramount in combating the disease, our ministry is making intensive efforts to inform our citizens about the disease and preventive measures and to raise awareness in society.
CCHF begins to be observed in our country in the spring and continues with a mortality rate of about 4-5%. Looking at the incidence of cases over the years, increasing and decreasing trends can be mentioned, and the highest case was 1318 cases in 2009. Although 343 CCHF cases were detected in 2017, it remains important in our country.

To protect against Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever;

When visiting areas at risk of ticks, such as fields, vineyards, gardens, forests and picnic areas, clothing should be worn that covers the body as much as possible to prevent ticks from entering the body, trousers should be tucked into socks and light colored clothing is preferred so that ticks can be seen comfortably on clothing.

When returning from tick-risk areas, the person should check whether ticks are present on themselves and on their children’s body (including behind the ear, armpits, groin and behind the knee) (such as dust, plastic bag, gloves).

In cases where the person cannot remove the tick himself, he should turn to the nearest health facility. It should be noted that the sooner the tick is removed, the lower the risk of transmitting the disease.

Since the disease progresses in animals without showing any symptoms, animals living in areas where the disease is common can transmit the disease even if they appear healthy. For this reason, blood, body fluids or animal tissues should not be touched with bare hands.

Since the disease can be transmitted through the blood, body fluids and extracts of the infected persons, the persons who come into contact with the patient must take the necessary protective measures (gloves, apron, mask, etc.).
Individuals with tick bites should monitor themselves for symptoms such as weakness, loss of appetite, fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea for 10 days and should contact the nearest health facility immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Ticks, which are carriers, hiders and infectors of the microbe that causes the disease, are arthropod animals that do not fly, do not jump and climb the body by walking from the ground. Ticks that attach to the body or are on animals should never be killed or blown away with bare hands. It should not be done by pressing cigarettes on ticks, pouring substances such as cologne, kerosene, etc., as this causes the tick to contract and transfer its body contents to the person who sucked the blood.

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