A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 9 Jul 2008
Source: Turkish Daily News, Dogan News Agency report [edited]

On Mon 7 Jul 2008, 3 people were pronounced dead at hospitals in the
provinces of Bursa, Canakkale, and Samsun, taking the death toll from
tick bites to 37 in the past 2 months. According to the Dogan news
agency, a resident of the western province of Bursa went camping 10
days ago and was bitten by a tick. He was hospitalised and diagnosed
with the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), and moved to
the intensive care unit.

In the western province of Canakkale, a man died in hospital after
being treated for suspected CCHF infection. He had told relatives
that he had seen a tick on his body. He was buried in a zinc casket
with lime spread over the grave as a precaution. Another person had
died from CCHF in the same province last month [June 2008].

Another man died from CCHF on Monday [7 Jul 2008] in the northern
province of Samsun after he was bitten by a tick and removed it with his hand.

The Health Ministry also issued a statement to warn people against
ticks. In case of a tick bite the skin should be covered with [an
antiseptic]. The tick should be removed by doctors using tweezers
with great care and iodine should be applied to the bite. Health
Ministry officials said ticks should never be killed by hand.

Moreover, those people, touched by any tick, should be kept under
medical observation for 10 days, and go to the nearest hospital if
they have symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, or
diarrhea, officials from the Health Ministry said.

CCHF mainly affects animals. Ticks, which live on sheep and cattle,
can sometimes pass the virus to people. It is a [haemorrhagic] fever
where patients can bleed to death if they are not treated quickly.
Those infected can transmit the virus through their blood or saliva.
The disease is endemic in parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. Health
authorities said a warmer climate, which Turkey has experienced in
recent years, could mean a larger tick population that could in turn
infect more people with the disease.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur A-Lan Banks

[The CCHF death toll in Turkey has risen from 33 on 4 Jul 2008 , when
more than 550 cases were recorded, to the present 37.

The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Turkey is available at
and a map delineating the administrative provinces of Turkey can be accessed at
<>. – Mod.CP]

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