The presence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) in Iran was first identified in studies of livestock sera and ticks in the 1970s, but the first human infection was not diagnosed until 1999. Since that time, the number of cases of CCHF in Iran has markedly increased. Through January 2012, articles in the published literature have reported a total of 870 confirmed cases, with 126 deaths, for a case fatality rate (CFR) of 17.6%. The disease has been seen in 26 of the country's 31 provinces, with the greatest number of cases in Sistan and Baluchestan, Isfahan, Fars, Tehran, Khorasan, and Khuzestan provinces. The increase in CCHF in Iran has paralleled that in neighboring Turkey, though the number of cases in Turkey has been much larger, with an overall CFR of around 5%. In this article, we review the features of CCHF in Iran, including its history, epidemiology, animal and tick reservoirs, current surveillance and control programs, diagnostic methods, clinical features and experience with ribavirin therapy, and consider possible explanations for the difference in the CFR of CCHF between Iran and Turkey. The emergence of CCHF in Iran calls for countermeasures at many levels to protect the population, but also provides opportunities for studying the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of the disease.
- Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever
- Tick-borne disease
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