BURSA – Doğan News Agency
Three people were pronounced dead at hospitals Monday in the provinces of Bursa, Çanakkale and Samsun, taking the death toll from tick bites to 37 in the past two months.
According to Doğan news agency, Mustafa Kayrı from the western province of Bursa went camping 10 days ago and was bitten by a tick. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with the deadly Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, or CCHF, and moved to the intensive care unit.
In the western province of Çanakkale, İbrahim Güven 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.
Another man, Cafer Sağlam, died from CCHF Monday 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 tick bite cases. In case of a tick bite the skin should be covered with the proper medicine. 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.
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever mainly affects animals. Ticks, which live on sheep and cattle, can sometimes pass the virus to people.
It is an Ebola-like 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.