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Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
While the world focuses on swine flu, another enigmatic virus is making a reappearance - CCHF.

Symptoms of the cryptically named Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever are cringe-worthy. After a sudden onset of fever, dizziness, and sore eyes, blood can begin bubbling on the skin. Gums begin to bleed and, if you're unlucky, you die. Transmitted by bites from infected ticks, the disease, known as CCHF, was first discovered in the Crimea in 1944, and 25 years later emerged in the Congo (hence the name).

Yet, in light of recent events, one more country may need to be added to the list: Turkey.

And as swine flu has been declared a pandemic by the World Heath Organization, Turkey is now at the forefront of combating a different puzzling virus. Scientists and the government have diverging views on how to combat the disease, and in turn, Turks are now asking whether their country could engineer an exportable solution and take a lead on a serious global public-health issue.

Since it was first diagnosed, cases of CCHF have been reported in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Its emergence over the last few years in Turkey, however, seems especially acute. It killed seven people in 2003, and 33 in 2007. In all, between the years 2002 and 2008, a total of 2,597 cases have been reported, and these have left 155 dead. Because the disease especially threatens farmers, fear of tick bites has sparked paranoia among the rural middle of the country, sending some to the emergency room on the weekends to have tick-resembling beauty marks checked out. According to the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., fatality rates for CCHF range from anywhere as low as 9 percent to as high as 50 percent. No vaccine exists, and treatments are limited.

The number of Turkish cases has pushed its researchers to the frontlines of CCHF research. Turkish scientists write regularly on the topic in international medical journals and advise organizations like the World Health Organization and the European Union. Among them is Associate Professor Onder Ergönül of the Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Department at Marmara University, who has been working for the last few years on an early diagnostic test for CCHF that could be put to use in village clinics.

Ergönül's project qualified for advanced-level funding from the European Research Council (ERC) last year. He then turned to Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBITAK), but while the Europeans were impressed, the value of his research was lost on his home government. Ergönül was flummoxed. "None of the members of the jury even had a single article about this topic, but they neither considered my project as important, nor were they convinced that I have enough information on an issue that I have been researching for years," he says.

The Turkish government says it's taking a different approach. Various government ministries have been working to educate people living in high-risk regions; officials canvas villages across the country's provinces, equipping Turks with methods of prevention. "Last August, we ordered all city branches to apply insecticides to sacrificial animals prior to their transport," Ahmet Uygar of the Ministry of Agriculture told NEWSWEEK Türkiye, NEWSWEEK's Turkish-language partner.

Ergönül insists that funding research will push Turkey into the lead on the issue. Work toward a vaccine has accelerated in the last two years, and as long as the disease does not create a serious threat in Europe or the U.S., Turks believe that their doctors are the most likely to develop an effective first response to CCHF. Developing a vaccine will be long and difficult, however, so the government is focusing on its education strategy in the interim. The next step, they hope, will be eradication.

Adapted from a report written by Asli Ortakmac for NEWSWEEK’s Turkish-language partner Newsweek Türkiye, June, 2009.



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Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever
The spread of infectious diseases especially from insects has increased on a huge scale in places that thought were dormant.The 20th century has seen some huge breakthroughs in combating these little killers,where humans were at the mercy from these invisible killers from the naked eye.
By the middle 60’s many different types of antibiotics have been developed to eradicate the infectious diseases,and therefore has been classed as no concern of researching into further studies of interest.Because why study something that has been wiped out.Big mistake.
The medical world was full of praise with each other.The germs were falling prey to the advanced superiority of knowledge to combat such microbes that has plagued the communities every day.The scientist have been off guard,while the enemy sleeps for a little while.According to an American surgeon during the 80’s.The plague of pestilence has passed and is not so wide spread.So he told the health officers to close the book on infectious diseases.This is what the enemy was waiting for and is now emerging slowly at first from that dormant sleep
The deadly microbes that were thought to have vanished were in fact developing a new strain of microbe that is resistant to antibiotics and has now turned with a vengeance.Plus other microbes have appeared that are unknown to the scientist.With world travel so common now and with the new strains of microbes being transported from others that are incubating in their bodies can have dire consequences for the near future once they find a host to multiply on.
The deadly microbes we once thought were under control are now rampant due to the interference of nature without working out the fatalities of what can happen first,without considering the possibilities of altering the microbes make up.They are a lot more difficult to treat with drugs and more expensive.One of the reason could be to do with neglecting the true source of where these microbes came from and just concentrated on scratching the outer rims of where microbes are appearing,which were the countries with money. This has actually created an incubation of the source to breed without any interference and has enabled the disease to travel to the more wealthier countries
The tick incubates many infectious diseases that now has a new strain of microbe that has been develop from the old strain to become immune to the antibiotics.This new strain has been developing to become immune to the antibiotics,which has been fighting the old strain.This is also one of the signs to be aware of,due to there now no drugs to eradicate these infectious diseases.They are drug resistant now.
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